A no-no like no other: Score 7 runs without a hit -- and win!

April 9th, 2023

Throw a no-hitter and lose -- it’s about as rare as it sounds. It’s happened just six times in Major League history and 10 times in the Minors, where wacky occurrences are abundant, since 2005.

For it to happen, a team needs to get unlucky and yield some combination of walks or hit batters, wild pitches or errors and sacrifice bunts or flies while its own bats are held quiet. Of those 16 recorded instances, 13 of them saw the winning -- and no-hit -- club come out on top with just one or two runs. At most, four runs did the trick.

But seven runs on no hits? That’s a box score that gets passed down for generations.

It happened Saturday in the Double-A Southern League when the Chattanooga Lookouts, affiliate of the Reds, put together the rally of all rallies against the Rocket City Trash Pandas, scoring all seven of their runs in the seventh and final inning of the first game of a doubleheader.

The Angels-affiliated Trash Pandas had been cruising thanks to three runs on offense and starting pitcher Coleman Crow, the organization’s No. 21 prospect, who delivered six scoreless innings with two walks as the only blemishes on his line.

Rocket City needed just three more outs for the second no-hitter in team history. If you’re reading this, you know that they got them. Oh, did they ever get them.

Tasked with locking down the final frame was Ben Joyce, the Angels’ No. 11 prospect and noted destroyer of radar guns. But with great velocity comes wavering command. Joyce walked the bases loaded despite recording a pair of outs, but the final one proved to be the most difficult. Another walk brought in Chattanooga’s first run. Three more scored when center fielder Jeremiah Jackson whiffed on what appeared to be a routine fly ball. That was it for Joyce.

The rest of the frame reads like this: Hit by pitch, hit by pitch, hit by pitch (run), walk (run), wild pitch, hit by pitch and, mercifully, an inning-ending strikeout.

Things almost got interesting when the Trash Pandas scored a pair and got the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh but Pedro Garcia entered with one out and fanned a pair to conclude the head-scratcher of a game.

Lookouts center fielder Allan Cerda put it best: