Corey Kluber threw the the major leagues' sixth no-hitter this season and second in two nights, leading the New York Yankees over the Texas Rangers 2-0 on Wednesday night.
The 35-year-old right-hander, a two-time American League Cy Young Award winner nicknamed Klubot for his robot-like demeanor, came within a four-pitch walk to Charlie Culberson in the third inning of throwing a perfect game.
Kluber pitched his gem a night after Detroit Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull threw one against the Seattle Mariners, marking the first no-hitters on consecutive days since 1969. It marks the sixth no-hitter in MLB this season, one shy of the all-time record, with four and a half months still to play.
“I had butterflies in that ninth inning, I’m getting a little emotional now, even just getting to witness that was was really, really special,” manager Aaron Boone said. “And to see his teammates and the excitement of everyone for Corey and just the excitement for themselves being a part of such a thing. What a performance.”
Kluber (4-2) struck out nine and and threw 71 of 101 pitches for strikes in his ninth start for the Yankees. With his fastest pitch at 92.5 mph, he mixed 31 curveballs, 27 cutters, 23 sinkers, 18 changeups and two four-seam fastballs.
Kluber was pitching on the mound when he was hurt after one inning last season for the Rangers, when he tore a muscle in his right shoulder on July 26 in his Texas debut.
That was the second straight shortened season for Kluber, whose 2019 season ended May 1 when he was hit on the forearm by a comebacker.
Right fielder Tyler Wade made a running catch of pinch-hitter David Dahl’s flyball for the second out in the ninth inning before Willie Calhoun’s game-ending groundout to shortstop Gleyber Torres.
“It stinks. It’s baseball. No-hitters happen. There’s been a lot so far this year. Unfortunate for us that we’ve been a part of two of them,” Culberson said. “It just shows you how good these pitchers are, these teams are and what they’re doing.”
It was the 12th no-hitter in Yankees history, the 11th in the regular season and the first since David Cone’s perfect game against Montreal on July 18, 1999. It was the fifth against the Rangers, who were also at home April 9 when San Diego native Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in Padres history.
New York got its only runs in the sixth inning when Kyle Higashioka had a leadoff walk and scored on a triple by Wade, who entered the game in the bottom of the third inning after starter Ryan LaMarre injured a hamstring while running the bases. DJ LeMahieu then had a sacrifice fly against Hyeon-Jong Yang (0-1).
Before getting hurt in 2019, Kluber was a 20-game winner in 2018, and had thrown at least 203 innings with 222 strikeouts each season from 2014-18. He was the Cy Young winner in 2014 and 2017.
“Obviously wish this guy well,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said, ”but I didn’t wish him that well."