HOUSTON -- The final out came when Mike Fiers threw a 90-mph fastball by the Dodgers' Justin Turner, setting the stage for a massive celebration of hugs, high-fives and champagne.
Fiers, making his third start with the Astros, tossed the 11th no-hitter in franchise history -- and the first in the 16-year history of Minute Maid Park -- in a 3-0 victory over the Dodgers before a raucous crowd of 33,833 on Friday night.
"I was a little shaky in the first three innings, but I was able to get it together and stop walking guys and start going after guys and throwing the right pitches," said Fiers, who walked three batters in the first three innings. "But you don't think, 'OK, this is a game I can throw a no-hitter.' I don't take any game for granted. At any time guys can put a bunch of hits together and put you out of the game, so you've got to bear down on every hitter."
The news got even better for the Astros, who gained a game atop the American League West standings when the Angels lost. Houston leads the Angels by 3 1/2 games and the Rangers by four games.
It was the first no-hitter thrown by the Astros since six pitchers combined to no-hit the Yankees on June 11, 2003, at Yankee Stadium. Fiers is the first Astros pitcher to throw a no-hitter since the late Darryl Kile beat the Mets on Sept. 8, 1993, in the Astrodome.
"Had a lot of pitches early," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "[Fiers] was able to hang in. He's the kind of guy that you have to get the ball down. I think we helped him a little bit. We chased probably 15, 20 balls up out of the strike zone. That's one of the things with him. You want to try to get down. But easier said than done with him because it looks good to hit. Then, the breaking ball plays off of that. He did a nice job."
The Astros, who were held to one hit by the Rays' Chris Archer on Thursday, got a two-run homer from Jake Marisnick in the second inning and a solo shot from Evan Gattis in the sixth against Dodgers starter Brett Anderson, who allowed three runs and seven hits and struck out five batters in six innings in the loss. It was the first time a team had thrown a no-hitter the game after being one-hit since 1975. Former Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan threw a no-hitter for the Angels on June 1, 1975, against the Orioles a day after the Halos were one-hit by Baltimore.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Fiers makes history: The righty will forever be remembered for becoming the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter at Minute Maid Park, dazzling the Dodgers for Houston's first no-hitter since a six-pitcher effort in 2003 at Yankee Stadium. The last single-pitcher no-hitter for the Astros came in 1993, when Kile beat the Mets.
"He's a big leaguer, man," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "This guy's a really good pitcher. He might be unheralded and he might be under the radar or he might not be a household name, but you talk around the league and he's got plenty of double-digit punchout games. He's been very, very effective the last couple of years."
Bombs sink Brett: Anderson, who had given up a homer in each of his last two starts, was undone by a pair of two-out homers from the Major League leaders in long balls, the first by Marisnick after Chris Carter extended the second inning with a two-out, two-strike single. Marisnick's ball, which Statcast™ said came off the bat at 106 mph, travelled an estimated 406 feet to center field. Gattis followed with a missile into the Crawford Boxes in the sixth, good for his 19th of the season.
"Two just terrible changeups," Anderson said. "Some days you just have to tip your cap because it doesn't matter. The only way we would have had a chance today is if we would have gone scoreless. It doesn't matter if I gave up one, two, three or 10, we were going to lose today. You just have to tip your cap to Fiers and move on to the next one."
"You pretty much don't move. You just sit in your spot and hope he does well. When it gets down to the end you get more and more anxiety. You're not even playing. It's stressful there." -- injured Astros outfielder George Springer, on watching Fiers throw a no-hitter
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Astros hit two more homers to extend their Major League lead to 166 homers. The last time they had this many in a season was in 2008 (167).
Hinch challenged an out call at first base in the sixth, but replay confirmed the throw to first beat Jed Lowrie
Dodgers: Carrying an 11-start unbeaten streak, Zack Greinke (13-2, 1.58 ERA) will get the ball for the Dodgers in the second game of the series on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. PT. During his unbeaten streak, Greinke is 8-0 with a 1.16 ERA. His 0.86 WHIP is also tops in the Major Leagues.
Astros: Left-hander Scott Kazmir (6-8, 2.43 ERA) will start against the Dodgers at 6:10 p.m. CT on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. After winning AL Pitcher of the Month honors in July, Kazmir is 0-3 with a 4.86 ERA in three starts in August.
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