Tribe No-Hit Again as Miley Baffles Bats; CIN 3, CLE 0

Zach Plesac pitched a gem for the Indians on Friday, but the Cincinnati Reds’ Wade Miley did him one better, throwing nine complete innings of no-hit ball to deal Cleveland a stunning 3-0 loss.

Plesac gave the Tribe his all, but Miley baffled the Cleveland bats as the team suffered its second no-hit performance in the last month. Plesac threw eight innings of shutout baseball while scattering three hits, but the Reds broke the scoreless tie in a messy top of the ninth before Miley completed his historic efforts for the first no-hitter of his eleven-year career.

Miley’s milestone was the second no-hitter thrown in Major League Baseball in the last three days, on the heels of Baltimore pitcher John Means and his 27-batter masterpiece against Seattle on Wednesday. It was the first no-hitter by a Reds pitcher since Homer Bailey’s second one tossed in 2013 and the 17th in the long history of the Cincinnati organization.

As for the Indians, it marked the second time in 2021 that the team has had a no-hitter lobbed against them. The team narrowly avoided a perfect game, but still went hitless on April 14 against Carlos Rodon of the Chicago White Sox.

The Reds were shutout for eight innings by Plesac, who struck out seven and issued no walks on a season-high 112 pitches. Emmanuel Clase took over for the ninth, but he had his roughest outing of the campaign while failing to retire and of the four batters that he faced while compounding problem after problem. Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker opened the inning with consecutive singles. Nick Castellanos grounded to the right of the mound. Clase broke on the ball, fielded, and fired to second but missed wide left to shortstop Andres Gimenez. Senzel scored on the play and Winker advanced an extra base. With Mike Moustakas in the box with runners on the corners, Castellanos broke towards second. Instead of stepping off, Clase turned to throw to second and was called for a balk, allowing Castellanos to take second safely and moving Winker home on the blunder. Castellanos made it 3-0 with the third single of the inning, bringing Terry Francona out of the dugout for Phil Maton. He struck out the next three in order.

Miley – Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Miley completed his no-hitter with just eight pitches in the bottom of the ninth. Rene Rivera lined the second pitch of the inning to right for the first out. Cesar Hernandez struck out looking on three straight. Jordan Luplow grounded a 1-1 pitch to short for the routine out and the final of 27 for Miley to complete his no-no and insert his name into the MLB record book.

Miley retired the first 16 batters in a row as the Indians flailed away, striking out at least one time in each of the first five innings. They finally got a runner on base in the sixth, but could not take advantage of their only scoring opportunity on the night. Amed Rosario found himself on second base after a throwing error by Nick Senzel. Austin Hedges grounded back to the mound for the second out before Miley walked his lone batter of the game, putting on Hernandez. Luplow battled for six pitches, but sent the final one to left to leave the only base runners the club would have on the night. Miley retired the final ten to conclude his outing.

Plesac’s performance was lost in the shuffle of a dominant pitching effort by both hurlers. He retired the first five in a row before a two-out single to center by former teammate Tyler Naquin. He was stranded on a grounder to first by Tucker Barnhart. Kyle Farmer opened the third with a base hit and Shogo Akiyama reached on error for the first Reds rally attempt, but a pair of grounders to second gave Cleveland three outs to escape harm.

Plesac had a bigger threat in the fourth after Castellanos doubled to center to start the inning. He moved to third on a groundout by Moustakas, but both Eugenio Suarez and Naquin left the batter’s box as strikeout victims to leave the first potential run stranded at third.

Beginning with the groundout by Moustakas, Plesac set down the final 15 batters that he faced in a row as he matched Miley step for step through much of the middle innings. His offense’s inability to put a ball safely in play proved to be too much and too obvious of a roadblock to victory as the Indians saw their five-game winning streak come to an end. The Reds moved back to .500 at 15-15, while the Indians dropped to 17-14 while falling out of first place in the American League Central.

The game was delayed for 83 minutes by rains. The Indians likely wish now that the weather would not have broken, as they became just the 17th team to be no-hitter two different times in the same season (last accomplished by Seattle in 2019). It was the second no-hitter thrown at Progressive Field in its 28 years of operation; Angels pitcher Ervin Santana recorded the other in 2011.

“He kept us off balance. He touched 90 once tonight, but he put on a clinic,” said Francona of the outing of the opposing starter. “He cut the ball in on the righties, threw a changeup, threw a four-seamer in. He just went back and forth.”

Aaron Civale (4-0, 3.20 ERA) will look to get the Indians back into the win column on Saturday night in game two of three between the two clubs. Luis Castillo (1-3, 6.07 ERA) will counter for the Reds.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM ET on Saturday night.

Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images

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