The Associated Press
Sep. 30, 2013
MIAMI (AP) — Henderson Alvarez pitched a no-hitter with a most bizarre ending, celebrating in the on-deck circle when the Miami Marlins scored on a two-out wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers 1-0 Sunday.
After Alvarez finished off the ninth with the game scoreless, he had to wait to see if it would become an official no-hitter. A Major League Baseball ruling in 1991 said only complete games of nine or more innings with no hits would count.
The Marlins loaded the bases and with pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs at bat, Luke Putkonen (1-3) threw a wild pitch that let Giancarlo Stanton score.
Alvarez was on deck, bat in hand. He took off his helmet and started to celebrate with teammates while still wearing his batting gloves.
Later, Alvarez went into the stands to hug his pregnant wife and kiss her belly.
It was the first of the majors' 282 no-hitters to end on a wild pitch, STATS said.
Alvarez (5-6) struck out four, walked one and hit a batter against a patchwork Tigers lineup on the last day of the season. The 23-year-old righty from Venezuela capped a dismal season for the Marlins in which they finished at 62-100.
Alvarez pitched the fourth season-ending no-hitter ever, and first since Mike Witt of the Angels threw a perfect game at Texas in 1984.
ROCKIES 2, DODGERS 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Cuddyer won his first batting title and Todd Helton singled in the final game of his career to help the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The NL West champion Dodgers, who lost four of their last five games to finish 92-70, will open the NL division series at Atlanta on Thursday.
The Dodgers said they won't have center fielder Matt Kemp in the postseason because of swelling in a bone in his left ankle.
Cuddyer went 1 for 5 and finished at .331 to win the title by 10 points over Atlanta's Chris Johnson.
Helton was 1 for 4 with a walk, singling his first time up. The first baseman is retiring after 17 seasons.
The sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium gave him a standing ovation before his last at-bat.
Jeff Francis (3-5) won and Rex Brothers got his 19th save in 21 chances. Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-8) took the loss.
PIRATES 4, REDS 2
CINCINNATI (AP) — Jordy Mercer hit an inside-the-park homer and triple, and the Pittsburgh Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in a matchup of teams that will play for the NL wild card.
They'll open the postseason on Tuesday night at Pittsburgh, the Pirates' first playoff game in 21 years. They've met five times in the playoffs: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1979 and 1990, when the Reds won their last World Series title.
Johnny Cueto (5-2), who is 8-2 career at PNC Park, will face Francisco Liriano (16-8), who is 0-3 in four starts against Cincinnati this season.
The Reds dropped their last five games, matching their season high.
Brandon Cumpton (2-1) gave up a pair of hits in five shutout innings. Kyle Farnsworth got his second save. Greg Reynolds (1-3) took the loss.
BRAVES 12, PHILLIES 5
ATLANTA (AP) — Evan Gattis had a two-run homer among his three hits, Elliot Johnson drove in five runs and the NL East champion Atlanta Braves beat Philadelphia.
The Braves won their first division title since 2005. They will have home-field advantage against the Dodgers in the NL division series, which begins Thursday at Turner Field.
Atlanta (96-66) finished with its best record since also winning 96 games in 2004. After the victory, players gathered for a photo around a 2013 banner that was placed on a stand in front of the mound.
Julio Teheran (14-8) allowed four runs in five innings. Zach Miner (0-2), who began his career in the Braves' organization, gave up five runs on seven hits and three in only 2 1-3 innings.
CARDINALS 4, CUBS 0
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matt Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals clinched home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs when they beat the Chicago Cubs for their sixth straight win.
With the top seed, the NL Central champions will host the wild-card winner in Game 1 of the best-of-five division series on Thursday.
Joe Kelly (10-5) pitched 5 1-3 innings of three-hit ball. The Cardinals matched their longest winning streak of the season and finished 97-65, their most since reaching 100 in 2005.
The Cubs finished last in the Central at 66-96. Jeff Samardzija (8-13) got the loss.
GIANTS 7, PADRES 6
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hunter Pence singled home the winning run with no outs in the ninth inning to lift the San Francisco Giants over San Diego.
Francisco Peguero hit his first career home run leading off the ninth to tie it as Huston Street (2-5) blew his second save in 35 chances.
Pence drove in three runs. Jedd Gyorko hit a grand slam for the Padres and Nick Hundley homered.
Sergio Romo (5-8) pitched the ninth for the win.
The Giants, who last season won their second World Series title in three years, finished 76-86 and tied for third with the Padres, 16 games behind the NL West champion Dodgers.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, NATIONALS 2
PHOENIX (AP) — A.J. Pollock beat out a run-scoring infield single in the eighth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks sent Washington manager Davey Johnson into retirement with a loss.
The Diamondbacks scratched out a pair of runs off Ryan Mattheus (0-2) in the eighth to finish the season at 81-81.
David Hernandez (5-6) pitched a perfect eighth and Brad Ziegler closed out the ninth for his 13th save.
Washington failed in the final game of a career by Johnson that spanned six decades, but still finished 11 games above .500 at 86-76. The Nationals won the NL East last season.
METS 3, BREWERS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Young Jr. won the NL stolen base crown and helped the New York Mets rally when Milwaukee botched two bunts in the eighth inning.
Young swiped two bases in the first, scored on a shallow sacrifice fly and later threw out a runner at the plate from left field. He began the day tied for the NL lead in steals at 44 with Milwaukee shortstop Jean Segura, who sat out for the 10th time in 11 games because of a strained right hamstring.
Vic Black (3-0) pitched a hitless inning nd Frank Francisco struck out two for his first save since Sept. 1 last year. Brandon Kintzler (3-3) got the loss.
Before the game, former Mets slugger Mike Piazza was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame during a 30-minute ceremony on the field.