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Williams stands tall during Hill's run at history

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Trevor Williams stood in the way of history Wednesday night, stubbornly refusing to allow the one timely hit that would have led to the one run the Dodgers needed to support Rich Hill's historic effort on the mound.

As Hill breezed through eight perfect innings, Williams matched him zero for zero. The rookie right-hander made the best start of his young career Wednesday night, shutting down the Dodgers' dangerous lineup for eight innings and creating an opportunity for Josh Harrison's 10th-inning walk-off homer in the Pirates' 1-0 win at PNC Park.

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PITTSBURGH -- Trevor Williams stood in the way of history Wednesday night, stubbornly refusing to allow the one timely hit that would have led to the one run the Dodgers needed to support Rich Hill's historic effort on the mound.

As Hill breezed through eight perfect innings, Williams matched him zero for zero. The rookie right-hander made the best start of his young career Wednesday night, shutting down the Dodgers' dangerous lineup for eight innings and creating an opportunity for Josh Harrison's 10th-inning walk-off homer in the Pirates' 1-0 win at PNC Park.

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"He pitched like a guy that's got way more time in [the Majors] than he's got in," manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's what he showed [pitching coach Ray Searage] and myself tonight. He pitched like an experienced starter against a very good lineup."

Video: LAD@PIT: Williams retires Seager to escape jam in 7th

And he happened to be lined up against a starter looking to make history. Hill carried a perfect game into the ninth and a no-hitter into the 10th. The Dodgers' lefty struck out 10 and didn't walk anybody.

Video: LAD@PIT: Hill tosses nine-plus no-hit innings

All Hill needed was one run from Los Angeles' lineup at some point in the first nine innings to join Max Scherzer (2015) and Homer Bailey (2012) as the only pitchers to no-hit Pittsburgh since Bob Gibson did so in 1971.

Starting Pictures: Pirates stun Dodgers

"We had no hits and we were still tied through nine," Harrison said. "So we had something going for us."

For eight of those innings, Williams was the only thing the Pirates had going for them. He was far from perfect, but he was at his best when it mattered most. The Dodgers went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position against Williams, who stranded 10 runners on base.

"Once guys get rolling like that, it's fun to take the ball quickly again," Williams said. "I still can't wrap my mind around that outing and what he did. It's great for us, there's no doubt about that."

The timing of Williams' outing -- not just his opponent's dominant outing -- made his success that much sweeter. After beginning the season in the bullpen, Williams moved into the rotation May 8 at Dodger Stadium and gave up eight runs on seven hits in three innings. It was his worst start until his most recent outing prior to Wednesday's, when he got away from his game plan and allowed eight runs in three-plus innings against the Cardinals.

Williams got back to his roots Wednesday, mixing up his fastballs in concert with a handful of sliders and changeups as he threw a career-high 114 pitches. He allowed seven hits and walked four, but he struck out five and induced two key double plays to end the fifth and sixth innings.

He got plenty of help from his defense, too. Starling Marte made a five-star catch, according to Statcast™, with his running grab to rob Chase Utley in the second inning. Josh Harrison laid out to rob Logan Forsythe of a potential RBI single up the middle in the fourth. Jordy Mercer left his feet to snag Forsythe's line drive for the final out of the eighth.

Video: LAD@PIT: Mercer makes an outstanding leaping grab

"He attacks," catcher Chris Stewart said of Williams. "He's not afraid of anybody."

Not even a pitcher on the verge of history.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Trevor Williams