Twins no-hitter history looks back at every no-hitter in Minnesota franchise history

March 14th, 2019

A no-hitter is, by nature, often a random and remarkable act. Few teams have illustrated the haphazard occurrence of the no-no as pointedly as the Twins have.

Formerly known as the Washington Senators, the Twins arrived in Minnesota in 1961 and since their relocation to the Twin Cities, fans have been gifted with five no-hitters from five different hurlers. Walter Johnson (1920) and Bob Burke ('31) also tossed no-hitters for the Senators before the franchise relocated.

None of the five Minnesota pitchers to complete a no-hitter ended their careers among the clubs top 30 all-time wins leaders, and the quintet combined for just four All-Star appearances during their respective Minnesota tenures. takes a look back at every no-hitter thrown in Twins franchise history.

May 3, 2011: Francisco Liriano
Twins 1, White Sox 0

Liriano entered his first start of the month likely needing a strong outing to save his spot in the rotation. He gave that and more when he churned out the fifth no-hitter in club history.

One of the most electric rookies in recent memory, Liriano went 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 2006 and earned an All-Star nod, but soon after he underwent Tommy John surgery that wiped out his entire '07 and most of his '08 season. The lefty was far from perfect that day -- he struck out just two batters and issued six walks. But Liriano was effectively wild and held Chicago hitless.

Liriano’s game score of 83 was the second-lowest ever recorded during a no-hitter, but regardless, he finished the day in the record books and owns Minnesota’s most recent hitless outing.

Liriano is the only player to ever win Comeback Player of the Year twice, and he has done once in each league. His no-hitter shows how dominant he could be on the right day.

Sept. 11, 1999: Eric Milton
Twins 7, Angels 0

Milton endeared himself to Twins fans during a 2001 All-Star season in which he tallied a 3.6 WAR. But the former Yankees first-round pick, who came to New York when Minnesota traded for All-Star second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, delivered on his potential even sooner than that when he blanked the Angels near the end of the 1999 season.

Mixing in an effective curve with a deceptive changeup, Milton racked up 13 strikeouts on 122 pitches. He came within two walks of recording the first perfect game in club history. His 13 punchouts are tied for the fifth-most ever recorded during a no-hitter.

Milton went on to have a strong couple of seasons in Minnesota following his no-no, and from a statistical standpoint, he made the Twins' decision to acquire him look like a smart one. Milton tallied a higher WAR than Knoblauch did each year from 1999 until Knoblauch retired in 2002.

April 27, 1994: Scott Erickson
Twins 6, Brewers 0

Erickson captured the attention of Minnesota fans when, as a 23-year-old starter and second-year Major Leaguer, he finished second in the 1991 Cy Young Award voting after a dazzling season.

But it was what he did three years later against the Brewers that entrenched him in Twins history. Erickson walked four and struck out five during his no-hitter and needed 128 pitches to complete it.

"I didn’t expect this when I took the field, and the first two guys hit bullets,” Erickson said, according to Baseball Almanac. “But the guys made some good plays behind me early and I kind of lucked out. About the sixth inning, the crowd started getting excited and that’s when it hit me I had a chance.”

Erickson went on to have a strong career with the Orioles in the late 1990s, and despite missing the entirety of the 2001 and '03 seasons due to injury, he hung around in the Majors until '06 when he played his final season with the Yankees at age 38.

Aug. 25, 1967: Dean Chance
Twins 2, Indians 1

Dean Chance’s rare feat was made even more rare by the fact that it did not end in a shutout. According to Baseball Reference, only 13 times in Major League history has a pitcher thrown a nine-inning no-hitter and also allowed a run to score.

The feat becomes even more rare when you narrow the list to pitchers who have allowed an earned run during a no-no. Only Chance and Joe Cowley (1986 with the White Sox) have ever surrendered an earned run during a no-hitter.

In Chance’s case, the Indians took advantage of five walks, and Lee Maye scored on a wild pitch.

Only six non-shutout no-no’s have occurred in the big leagues since Chance accomplished the feat, with the most recent coming from the Angels' Ervin Santana in 2011.

Aug. 26, 1962: Jack Kralick
Twins 1, A’s 0

During the inaugural no-hitter in Twins history, the left-handed Kralick retired the first 25 batters he faced before Kansas City's George Alusik spoiled his bid for a perfect game by drawing a walk.

The player who was nicknamed “Jittery Jack” due to his constant fidgeting on the mound needed just 97 pitches to finish off the no-no. It wasn’t the only no-hitter of Kralick’s professional career, either.

According to Through The Fence Baseball, Kralick threw three other no-hitters at various levels of Minor League and semi-pro ball.