Carlos Rodon lost his perfect game in the ninth inning, and he nearly lost the no-hitter altogether.
Indians outfielder Josh Naylor led off the final inning with a slow tapper on an 0-2 pitch to first base, and busted down the line with history in the balance. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu ranged to his right, and with Rodon unable to cover had to hustle back to beat a sliding Naylor to the bag – which he did by jabbing out his right foot.
The lumbering, 34-year-old Abreu is not exactly known for his defensive acumen, making the awkward play even more impressive.
The bang-bang play was confirmed on instant replay. Rodon would hit the next batter, Roberto Perez, in the foot, ending his shot at perfection. But the 28-year-old would retire the next two batters to get the no-hitter in the White Sox’s 8-0 triumph.
“To be honest, I really didn’t think he had a perfect game until I got hit,” Perez said afterward. “I thought he had a no-hitter going, but I really didn’t think he had a perfect game.”
Improbable plays to save no-hitters in the ninth inning are kind of a specialty of the White Sox.
In 2009, Dewayne Wise made a leaping catch at the fence to save Mark Buehrle’s perfect game against the Rays.
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[This article may have been written with information from various sources]