Three Astros combine to no-hit Yankees for first time since 2003

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No team in baseball has won more games than the New York Yankees this year. But you wouldn’t know it Saturday, with Astros pitchers Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combining to no-hit the Bombers on their home field. The loss spoiled a brilliant performance by Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, limiting the reigning American League champs to a single run over seven dominant innings.

Saturday was the Astros’ 14th no-hitter in club history and their first since Justin Verlander (the winning pitcher Friday night) no-hit the Blue Jays in 2019. The Yankees, meanwhile, were no-hit for only the eighth time dating back to the early 20th century, when they were still known as the New York Highlanders. As fate would have it, the last team to no-hit the Yankees was Houston in 2003, with Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner doing the honors.

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Javier, who was only recently promoted to the starting rotation after beginning the year in Houston’s bullpen, pitched the game of his life, blanking the Yankees with a career-high 12 strikeouts over seven marvelous frames. Things got dicey in the eighth when Neris walked two of the first three batters he faced before allowing a deep fly ball that took Kyle Tucker all the way to the warning track in right field. But the veteran right-hander escaped without further damage with Aaron Judge ending the threat by grounding out to shortstop Aledmys Diaz. The Yankees went down in order in the ninth with Giancarlo Stanton’s groundout to Alex Bregman clinching MLB’s third no-hitter of the 2022 season.

The Astros only scraped together three runs in the winning effort with two coming on solo blasts by J.J. Matijevic and Jose Altuve. Despite an 11-game cushion over second-place Toronto in the AL East, the Yankees have struggled of late, losing four of their last seven with opponents outscoring them 33-30 over that span.

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