Dave Stewart of the Oakland Athletics pitched a no-hitter last night, beating the Blue Jays, 5-0. It was only the first of the evening and it was the fourth this season, but it was his first and was the first ever in Toronto.
He walked the first two batters, then retired everyone until a two-out walk in the ninth.
"About the fifth inning," he said. "I was aware that I had one. I just kept thinking 'One hitter at a time, one strike at a time,'
"I was getting the fastball over, and when I went to the forkball it worked for me. I felt real good. I had a crisp fastball tonight and my location was really good. If they were going to beat me, they were going to have to beat my number one -- my fastball. I used that to set up my off-speed stuff."
Stewart (10-6) struck out 12. He didn't need much help from his fielders. The only ball even close to being a hit was Tony Fernandez's grounder leading off the fourth inning. First baseman Mark McGwire ran to his right, went to his knees to backhand the ball and flipped to Stewart covering first.
But before grounding out, Fernandez hit a line drive off first-base umpire Tim Welke's ankle. Welke had to look down to make sure he was standing in foul territory.
Fred McGriff hit the longest ball off Stewart, a drive that center fielder Dave Henderson caught routinely at the 400-foot sign.
"My heart stopped for a minute on that one," Stewart said.
Dave Henderson and Rickey Henderson hit two-run homers off John Cerutti (4-6) as the Blue Jays lost their fifth consecutive game.
The earlier 1990 no-hitters were by California's Mark Langston and Mike Witt against Seattle on April 11, Seattle's Randy Johnson against Detroit on June 2 and Nolan Ryan of Texas against Oakland on June 11. Now, with and Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers and Stewart adding no-hitters last night, there have been four this month.
The last time there were four in a month was in May 1917 when they all came within five days. Two game in the same game, on May 2, when Fred Toney of the Cincinnati Reds pitched a 10-inning no-hitter to beat Chicago's Hippo Vaughn, who had a no-hitter for 9 1/3 innings. That was the only double no-hitter in major league history.
Three days later, Ernie Koob of the St. Louis Browns pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox and the next day Bob Groom of the Browns repeated against the White Sox in the second game of a doubleheader.
Stewart's was the second no-hitter against the Blue Jays in their 14 seasons. The Indians' Len Barker pitched a perfect game against them May 15, 1981.
Stewart, the 1989 World Series MVP, began the bottom of the first by walking Junior Felix, whom catcher Terry Steinbach caught stealing. After Fernandez walked, too, Stewart retired the next 25 batters.
The A's took a 2-0 lead with two out in the third inning when Rickey Henderson walked and Dave Henderson hit his 14th home run. Walt Weiss singled to start the fifth and, after Mike Gallego's sacrificed, Rickey Henderson hit his 13th.
Weiss doubled to start the Oakland seventh and Gallego again sacrificed. Willie Blair relieved Cerutti and Rickey Henderson greeted him with a sacrifice fly.
The sellout crowd of 49,817 was silent as Stewart went to the mound for the ninth. About 7,000 had already left SkyDome.
The "noise meter" on the scoreboard urged fans to cheer for the Blue Jays, which they did, but Stewart struck out Manny Lee on a 2-2 pitch and Mookie Wilson on three pitches.
The crowd then began rhythmic clapping and cheering, this time for Stewart. He fell behind Felix, 3-0, then threw a strike. Felix fouled off the next and the crowd rose to its feet. After another foul, Felix walked. But Fernandez, after fouling off a pitch, flied softly to center. McGwire rushed to the mound and hugged Stewart as the A's poured from the dugout to congratulate him.
Angels 7, Indians 2:
Devon White's two homers in Cleveland backed Jim Abbott's four-hitter. It was Abbott's first complete game this season and White's first game after a four-game layoff.
Abbott (5-6) walked one and struck out two, helping California end its three-game losing streak. He retired the last 15 batters.
Right-hander Charles Nagy, 23, one of Abbott's teammates on the 1986 Olympic team, lost his major league debut, giving up four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He was just called up from Class AA Canton-Akron, where he was 9-4.
"I wanted him to do well," Abbott said, "but, of course, I wanted us to win."
White Sox 1, Yankees 0:
In Chicago, Ron Kittle's 454-foot home run in the second inning and the five-hit pitching of Jack McDowell and two relievers gave the White Sox to their eighth straight victory.
The home run into the upper deck in left field leading off the second was his 14th of the season, fourth in the last three games and his fourth in six at-bats.
Royals 3, Tigers 2:
Kevin Seitzer scored the tie-breaking run on Bo Jackson's seventh-inning single. It was the Tigers' 11th straight loss in Kansas City.
Seitzer, hitting .422 his last 11 games, barely missed a home run leading off the seventh and had to settle for a single, only the fourth hit off Jeff Robinson (6-6). After Bill Pecota's sacrifice and George Brett's team record-tying fourth walk, Jackson grounded an RBI single to left.
Rangers 4, Red Sox 3:
Ruben Sierra drove in the tie-breaking run with a two-out double in the ninth inning and Texas ended the Red Sox' seven-game winning streak after a 2:21 rain delay in Boston.
With one out in the ninth, Mike Stanley doubled off rookie Jeff Gray (1-1), the Red Sox' fourth pitcher, who gave way to Jeff Reardon. Rafael Palmeiro flied out but Sierra lined a double off the left-field wall, scoring Stanley.
Mariners 4, Brewers 2:
In Seattle, Tracy Jones doubled home two unearned runs with two out in the seventh inning and Randy Johnson (8-3) posted his fifth consecutive victory. He went seven innings then Mike Jackson relieved.