Don Sutton came within four outs of his first no-hitter and tied a National League record with his fifth career one-hitter today as the Los Angeles Dodgers posted a 7-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Sutton, who had lost his previous four decisions, allowed only a two-out single in the eighth inning to catcher Marc Hill. He tied Mordecai Brown, Grover Cleveland Alexander and Jim Maloney for most career one-hitters in the National League.
Sutton, 11-7, had not won a game since July 4, against San Francisco, and the 12-year veteran was making his eighth start since that victory.
He started by giving up two walks in the first inning but retired the next 21 batters before Hill broke up the nohitter by lining a clean, two-out single to left in the eighth. He walked four and struck out seven.
Sutton was given superlative defensive support. In the fifth, Dave Lopes ranged far to his right to field Terry Whitfield's hard grounder and Reggie Smith made a running catch of Hill's liner. In the eighth, third baseman Teddy Martinez went into the Dodger dugout to catch Whitfield's four pop before Hill's hit.
"It was a mistake and it cost me," Sutton said of the pitch that ruined his no-hitter. "I got behind on Hill and decided I was going to try to make him hit my breaking ball. I threw him a slider that didn't break and he hit it fair and square into left field.
"After Hill got his hit in the eighth, I was kinda numb. But this was my fifth one-hitter and I'll remember it for a long time."
Los Angeles scored its last two runs in the fifth off reliever Dave Heaverlo. Smith walked, Ron Cey singled and Steve Garvey loaded the bases on a bunt single. Rick Monday's sacrifice fly scored Smith and Baker's double drove in pinch-runner Teddy Martinez.