First Marco Estrada lost his perfect game. Then he lost the chance to get a win.
Estrada retired the first 22 batters until Logan Forsythe’s infield single ended his run of perfection with one out in the eighth inning in the Toronto Blue Jays’ game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. Estrada’s no-hit bid lasted one out longer than in his previous start, Friday against the Orioles.
The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Estrada is the first major league pitcher to take a no-hitter into the eighth inning in consecutive starts since Dave Stieb, the Blue Jays’ career leader in wins, did so in 1988 -- both times with two outs in the ninth and two strikes on the batter.
Estrada’s outing was the second-longest perfect-game bid of the past two seasons, exceeded by Max Scherzer’s 8 2/3-inning effort Saturday.
Close -- but not controversial -- play ends stretch of perfection
Although Estrada’s bid for a perfect game wasn’t broken up with a controversial play such as Jose Tabata’s hit-by-pitch against Scherzer, it wasn’t a no-doubt hit that ended it.
Forsythe’s chopper toward third base was fielded barehanded by a charging Josh Donaldson, whose throw to first was barely late. The play was reviewed, and the safe call was upheld.
In his previous start, Estrada didn’t allow a hit until pinch hitter Jimmy Paredes, leading off the eighth inning, hit a looping single. Estrada got the win in a 5-4 Blue Jays victory.
Back-to-back heartbreak for Stieb
Stieb, no doubt, can relate to what Estrada has gone through.
On Sept. 24, 1988, Stieb lost a no-hitter when Julio Franco hit a bad-hop single.
In Stieb’s next start, Sept. 30 against the Orioles, Jim Traber hit a broken-bat single on a short fly ball to spoil the no-hitter.
That was Stieb’s third one-hitter of the season, tying the American League mark set by Addie Joss in 1907.
Not only did Estrada not get the no-hitter, but he also didn’t even have the consolation of the win. The Blue Jays won 1-0 in 12 innings.