Alvarez enters history with Marlins' fifth no-no
Right-hander completes team's first since Sanchez in 2006
MIAMI -- The Marlins beat the Tigers, 1-0, on a walk-off wild pitch Sunday, the final day of the 2013 season. And Henderson Alvarez walked straight from the on-deck circle into team history.
Alvarez's gem against Detroit made him the fifth pitcher in Marlins history to throw a no-hitter, the first to do so since Anibal Sanchez -- sitting in the Tigers' dugout on Sunday -- held the D-backs hitless in a 2-0 win on Sept. 6, 2006.
Acquired last November in a blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays in which Miami sent its biggest stars north of the border, Alvarez missed the first three months of the season due to right shoulder inflammation. He didn't make his first start until July 4, but the 23-year-old made sure Sunday that his final start of 2013 would be a memorable one.
Alvarez wasn't able to take part in the usual celebration on the mound, as Miami hadn't put up a run against Detroit heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. But Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison recorded consecutive singles and advanced on a wild pitch by Luke Putkonen. Chris Coghlan drew a two-out walk, bringing pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs to the plate and Alvarez into the on-deck circle.
Finally, Putkonen uncorked a wild pitch that brought home Stanton, the winning run, and completed Alvarez's highly unusual no-hitter.
Although the Marlins are a young franchise, they have tallied four other no-hitters during their short history.
Al Leiter was the first Marlins pitcher to hold another team hitless, walking two and striking out six in an 11-0 win against the Rockies on May 11, 1996. Leiter is the only left-hander to toss a no-no in franchise history.
Kevin Brown followed 13 months later, on June 10, 1997, with arguably the most dominant no-hitter ever thrown by a Marlin. With two outs in the eighth of a 9-0 win against the Giants, Brown allowed his only baserunner when he plunked Marvin Benard, ending his bid for perfection.
The Marlins' next no-hitter -- tossed by A.J. Burnett on May 12, 2001 -- was hardly a thing of beauty. Burnett walked nine batters, plunked one, allowed three stolen bases but got the job done in a 3-0 victory against the Padres.
Burnett's no-no also marked a milestone for Marlins catcher Charles Johnson, who is one of only 13 catchers in Major League history to catch three or more no-hitters.
Sanchez was the most recent Marlin to toss a no-hitter, walking four and striking out six in a 2-0 win against the D-backs on Sept. 6, 2006. Sanchez was one of six rookies to start for the Marlins, setting a record for the most rookies to play for the winning team in a no-hitter.
Sanchez was the 19th rookie hurler since 1900 and only the second Venezuelan to throw a no-hitter. Alvarez became the sixth Venezuelan to throw a no-no, joining Sanchez, Wilson Alvarez, Carlos Zambrano, Johan Santana and Felix Hernandez.
Sanchez's no-no was also notable in that ended the longest streak between no-hitters in MLB history. By no-hitting Arizona, Sanchez ended a 6,364-game drought since former D-backs lefty Randy Johnson tossed a perfect game against the Braves on May 18, 2004.