Rookie Charlie Hudson came within two outs of pitching the first National League no-hitter in nearly two years, then settled for a three-hitter as the Phillies beat the Houston Astros, 10-3, last night in Philadelphia.
With one out in the ninth and Hudson (3-3) bidding to pitch the second no-hitter of the season, Craig Reynolds hit a blooper into short center that fell among center fielder Bob Dernier, shortstop Ivan DeJesus and second baseman Kiko Garcia. Hudson then received a standing ovation from the crowd of 21,052.
After Reynolds' hit, Denny Walling hit a two-run homer, his first of the year, to end Hudson's bid for his first major league shutout. Dickie Thon followed with his 13th homer.
Dave Righetti of the New York Yankees no-hit Boston on July 4. The last NL no-hitter was pitched by Houston's Nolan Ryan on Sept. 26, 1981 against Los Angeles. Steve Busby pitched the last no-hitter by a rookie, in 1973.
It was Hudson's second complete game. He allowed two walks and struck out nine.
After Reynolds' hit, Hudson said, he changed his priorities. "Now I thought, 'Keep your shutout.' " After Walling's homer, his goal changed again: "Now I thought, just go after the win. That's what the club really needs."
He said Reynolds singled off "a slider down and in, and he hit it on the weakest part of his bat and it fell in." The hit was only the 12th of the season for Reynolds, and his first since June 30.
"He got it in on me and I just fought it off," Reynolds said. "It broke my bat, severely."
Joe Lefebvre gave Hudson all the help he needed in the first inning with his first career grand slam, off loser Mike Scott (5-4). Pete Rose went four for five to give him 3,950 career hits.
Before the game, Pat Corrales says he was fired Monday as manager of the Phillies because of the field-level inexperience of team President Bill Giles, who had said Corrales couldn't communicate or motivate the players.
"Those are the two most-used words in baseball," said Corrales. "It's a lot of bull. If we had a lack of motivation, why were we in first place?
Corrales said of Giles: "He can't hire a manager and sit and take calls (complaints) from ballplayers. He has to learn you can't get to close to players.
"Giles has been in baseball a long time, but only a year and a half in the job he has now. I don't think he should talk to the players (bypassing the manager. Why have a manager? Giles is still green at this and he doesn't realize you don't win championships in half a year."