MIAMI -- When Edinson Volquez tangled with Rey Fuentes on a play at first base to open the game on Saturday, it appeared the veteran right-hander was headed for a short outing. Instead, the 33-year-old was on a collision course with destiny.Volquez collected himself and went on to make history
MIAMI -- When Edinson Volquez tangled with Rey Fuentes on a play at first base to open the game on Saturday, it appeared the veteran right-hander was headed for a short outing. Instead, the 33-year-old was on a collision course with destiny.
Volquez collected himself and went on to make history by tossing a no-hitter in the Marlins' 3-0 victory over the D-backs at Marlins Park. A highly focused Volquez appeared to be pitching with a purpose. Before taking the mound, he posted on his Instagram account a photo of himself with Yordano Ventura, and wrote how he missed his brother. Ventura, who died in a car accident in January, would have turned 26 on Saturday. The two were teammates in Kansas City.
Volquez said he dedicated the day to Ventura and Jose Fernandez, the two-time Marlins ace who died in a boating accident last September.
"This was for Ventura and Jose," Volquez said. "Everybody loved Jose. I can say that's for him, too. I really appreciate what he did here and people loved him. I'm really blessed to throw a no-hitter on his bump."
:: Edinson Volquez's no-hitter ::
Volquez's 98-pitch, 10-strikeout gem was the first "Maddux" (fewer than 100 pitches) no-no since Henderson Alvarez needed 99 pitches to get through his on Sept. 29, 2013. That was also the previous Marlins no-hitter, and the only other one in Marlins Park history.
"It's crazy," Volquez said. "In the fourth, I didn't know if I was going to keep pitching. When I got to the seventh, I was like, 'You've got to go for it.' It's a little early to start thinking about a no-hitter in the fifth or the fourth. When I was past the seventh, I was like, 'You've got to do it. You've got to go for it.'"
In complete command, Volquez issued two walks and yet faced the minimum with two double-play grounders. The right-hander made quick work of the D-backs in the ninth, striking out the side -- Nick Ahmed and pinch-hitters Daniel Descalso and Chris Owings -- before he was mobbed by teammates.
"It just seemed like everything kind of lined up after that first inning, first hitter," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "That ankle got rolled pretty good. We didn't know how far he was going to be able to go."
Trainer Dustin Luepker informed Mattingly in the fifth inning that Volquez's ankle was getting sore, and the veteran's right hamstring began to tighten, too.
But after a 13-pitch sixth inning, Volquez was at 75 pitches heading into the seventh and Mattingly wasn't about to take him out.
"His pitch count was really good," Mattingly said. "The whole thing today just lined up."
Volquez became the sixth Marlins pitcher to toss a no-hitter. The right-hander also is the first Miami starter to throw a complete game since Alvarez did it on June 3, 2014, snapping a 480-game drought.
With outs coming quickly in the early innings, the Marlins were able to break through off Randall Delgado in the fourth. Giancarlo Stanton walked and scored on Justin Bour's bloop single to left.
Miami's defense also stepped up for Volquez. Dee Gordon saved a hit with a sliding stop on Fuentes' sharp grounder in the fourth inning.
"You replay the game in your head, throughout the course of the game, and you start to realize something special is happening about the seventh inning," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "You go over the plays where something could have potentially gone wrong or right. I thought Dee Gordon's play moving into the 4-hole was pretty good. I think [Marlins shortstop JT] Riddle had a couple of really nice plays up the middle, where good first-step quickness got him to the ball."
Jake Lamb walked in the fourth, and with one out, Chris Herrmann walked in the eighth, but in both innings, Volquez got double-play ground balls, keeping him at facing the minimum heading into the ninth.
"He deserves a lot of credit," said Lovullo. "Anytime you throw a no-hitter against anybody, it's always a special moment, something's going right. I think the secondary stuff off the fastball was very effective. It was down in the zone, several swings and misses. You've got to give him a lot of credit."
The suspense started really building in the seventh. Entering the inning at 62 pitches, Volquez picked up a huge out, getting David Peralta to bounce to second on a full-count changeup, and the crowd came to its feet when Goldschmidt struck out on a 92-mph fastball.
"It was awesome," catcher J.T. Realmuto said. "Guy like Volqy, he's a great teammate, there every day working his butt off. Great mentor, great leader on the team. It was awesome to see the guy getting an accomplishment like this."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Collision course for Volquez: A potentially scary moment occurred three pitches into the game when Volquez and Fuentes collided at first base. Leading off for the D-backs, Fuentes grounded to first and Bour made the feed to Volquez, who raced to the bag to record the out. But the Miami right-hander was unable to avoid a charging Fuentes, and on impact, Volquez was lifted into the air and appeared to roll his right ankle on the landing. Hobbled, he limped back to the mound and Mattingly, pitching coach Juan Nieves and assistant trainer Mike Kozak tended to the veteran. Volquez threw two warmup pitches and continued.
"He was grimacing pretty good," Mattingly said. "I didn't know if he was going to be able to keep going, honestly. Then for him to get through that inning, it just kept him moving. He kept rolling all day."
Providing insurance: The way Volquez was pitching, he didn't need much support. Still, he received it in the eighth inning. Stanton led off with a walk, which sparked a two-run inning. Marcell Ozuna delivered an RBI single and Bour added a run-scoring double.
"When you're little, as a baseball player, first you want to be in the big leagues, throw a no-hitter, go to the All-Star Game. It's a dream come true." -- Volquez
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Volquez joins Al Leiter (May 11, 1996), Kevin Brown (June 10, 1997), A.J. Burnett (May 12, 2001), Anibal Sanchez (Sept. 6, 2006) and Alvarez (Sept. 29, 2013) as Marlins to throw no-hitters.
REPLAY RESTORES PERFECTION
Volquez was perfect through 3 2/3 innings, before Goldschmidt was called safe at first after Bour left the bag to catch Riddle's throw that was off the mark. Immediately, Bour signaled to the dugout to challenge, and after a replay review of one minute and 12 seconds, the call was overturned. The out meant Volquez retired the first 12 batters he faced through four innings.
"It was kind of a high throw," Bour said. "When I went to tag him, I didn't think I had a chance at it. Then, I felt it on the tip of my glove, so I said, 'Challenge it.'"
D-backs:Braden Shipley takes the mound for the D-backs in Sunday's 10:10 a.m. MT series finale at Marlins Park. The right-hander will be making just his second start of the season for Arizona. Washington defeated him in his lone start, a four-inning stint in which he allowed five hits and three runs. He walked six and struck out two.
Marlins: The Marlins wrap up a 10-game homestand at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, with Vance Worley (0-2, 4.50) making his third start. Worley is filling the rotation spot vacated when Justin Nicolino went on the disabled list with a left index finger contusion.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami and covered the D-backs on Saturday.