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Better late than never: July no-no not a first

While the 2012 season was home to seven no-hitters, the first of which was thrown on April 21, it seemed hard to imagine that no one had thrown a no-no more than three months into the 2013 season.

That is, until Reds right-hander Homer Bailey accomplished the feat on Tuesday night in a 3-0 win over the Giants.

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The last time it took that long for a no-hitter to be thrown was in 2009, when left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, then a member of the Giants, tossed a no-no against the Padres on July 10.

With no-hitters occurring so often, it seemed bizarre to go into July without a single occurrence this season. Before Bailey's second career no-no, 20 had been thrown in the past five years.

In plenty of seasons -- dating to 1876, when George Bradley threw a no-no -- it has taken later than July 2 for one to be thrown. In all, a season's first no-hitter has been thrown later than July 2 all of 49 times.

And there have, of course, been years in which a no-hitter hasn't been thrown, the most recent coming in 2005.

While Bailey was the first this season, a few close calls happened earlier in the year.

May saw many pitchers gets close to tossing a no-hitter. First, on May 7, Mets right-hander Matt Harvey retired the first 20 White Sox batters he faced before losing his no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh.

Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller was just as impressive on May 10, allowing a leadoff single to Eric Young Jr. in the first inning, then mowing down 27 straight Rockies hitters.

On the same night, Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester retired the first 17 Blue Jays batters he faced and finished his shutout having allowed only one hit, a double with two outs in the sixth.

On May 24, Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, who already has one no-hitter under his belt, allowed a single with one out in the ninth inning against the Twins.

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for

Cincinnati Reds, Homer Bailey