Baltimore Orioles starter John Means threw a no-hitter against the Mariners in Seattle on Wednesday afternoon, narrowly avoiding the ultra-rare perfect game.
The 28-year-old left-hander tossed 113 pitches, 79 for strikes, in facing the minimum 27 batters. He struck out 12 and didn't issue a walk. Seattle's lone baserunner, Sam Haggerty, reached on a wild pitch on a swinging third strike that skipped away from catcher Pedro Severino.
But Haggerty was promptly erased trying to steal second, allowing Means to face the minimum. The strange but longstanding wild-pitch rule came under criticism on social media, where many users said Means had thrown a perfecto in spirit if not by letter of the rule.
Means was immediately mobbed by his excited teammates after recording the final out on a soft line drive to shortstop Ramon Urias.
The no-no was the first for the Orioles in 1991, when several relievers combined to hold the Oakland Athletics hitless. The last Orioles pitcher to throw a no-hitter on his own was franchise legend Jim Palmer in 1969, according to the Associated Press.
Means threw first-pitch strikes to 26 of the 27 batters he faced, and didn't need the benefit of any particular standout defensive play. His lone blemish was the wild pitch.
The southpaw owned a 3.62 career ERA coming into the game, but seems to have taken his performance to another level in the early going in 2021. The no-hitter brought his ERA down to a sparkling 1.37 on the season.
The no-hitter was the third on the young MLB season, following Joe Musgrove of the Padres and Madison Bumgarner of the Diamondbacks.