Making History

April 18, 2010

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Score: Colorado 4, Atlanta 0

Atlanta, GA – Ubaldo Jimenez tossed the first no-hitter in Rockies history Saturday thanks in part to a sensational diving grab by center fielder Dexter Fowler in the seventh inning, as Colorado took a 4-0 decision over the Atlanta Braves.

Jimenez (3-0) didn’t have complete command of his pitches, as evident by his six walks, but the 26-year-old kept the Braves guessing throughout and retired the final 15 hitters he faced. He also had seven strikeouts.

“It was unbelievable,” Jimenez said. “It’s the most wonderful feeling just to be out there. I was just enjoying the moment…Every pitcher’s dream is to be out there for nine innings and throw a no-hitter.”

The hard-throwing righty was at 93 pitches through six frames and nearly gave up a hit when Troy Glaus opened the seventh with a line drive to the left- field gap. Fowler, who was shaded slightly to right center, quickly raced over and made a fully-extended catch to preserve the no-hit bid.

On his 128th pitch of the game, Jimenez, still throwing in the high 90s, got Brian McCann to bounce out weakly to second to end the memorable affair, causing his teammates to mob him near the first-base line.

The previous no-hitter in the majors occurred last July 23, when White Sox hurler Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game against Tampa Bay.

The last time the Braves were no-hit was May 18, 2004, when Arizona’s Randy Johnson hurled a perfect game against them.

Jimenez also knocked in a run, while Carlos Gonzalez doubled twice and drove in a pair for the Rockies, who had lost their previous two games.

“I don’t know that I can be happier for a kid any more so than I am for this kid,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said of the Dominican-born Jimenez.

Kenshin Kawakami (1-2) went five innings for Atlanta, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks in the club’s first loss in four games.

Gonzalez doubled to lead off the game, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Troy Tulowitzki’s sacrifice fly.

Jimenez, meanwhile, used a double-play ball off the bat of Chipper Jones to end the first, struck out Jason Heyward with a runner on second the next inning and used Miguel Olivo’s pickoff of Kawakami to get out of the third.

With runners on first and second and two outs in the away fourth, Jimenez drilled a line drive back up the middle that brought in Brad Hawpe, who opened the frame with a single. Gonzalez followed with a gapper to left-center, scoring two for a 4-0 game.

Jimenez, whose 3.47 earned-run average in 2009 set the lowest single-season mark by a Rockies starter, walked the lead-off hitter in both the fourth and fifth frames, but got out of each situation unscathed.

A perfect sixth ensued, and Fowler followed the highlight-reel catch on Glaus’ drive with a shoe-string grab on Yunel Escobar’s bloop to center. Jimenez caught Heyward looking at strike three to close the seventh.

After a 1-2-3 eighth, Jimenez got Martin Prado on a pop out to second to open the ninth, and Jones promptly flied out to left. McCann fouled off three pitches before finishing the game with a dribbler to second, much to the delight of Jimenez and his teammates.

“He had all his pitches working tonight,” McCann said. “You tip you hat on a performance like that. He’s got no-hit stuff every time he touches the mound. He has the best movement on a 97 mph fastball you’ll see.”

Game Notes

It was the third complete game of Jimenez’s career and his first shutout. He lasted six innings each in his first two starts this season and had a 5.06 EA in five previous starts against the Braves…Jonny Venters made his MLB debut for the Braves, throwing three scoreless innings in relief…Hawpe had three hits.


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