Baltimore Orioles right-hander David Hess was pulled after tossing 6⅓ hitless innings, but the Orioles bullpen couldn't see the no-hitter through in a 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.
Hess, making his first start of the season, was cruising along with eight strikeouts and one walk on 82 pitches before manager Brandon Hyde decided to pull the 25-year-old pitcher.
"I was shocked because I knew my pitch count was decently low,'' Hess said after the game.
Hyde told reporters on Monday night that Hess was on a pitch count after the right-hander pitched in relief on Opening Day, throwing two scoreless innings in a loss to the New York Yankees. Hyde said he had planned to pull Hess earlier, possibly after five innings, but let him stretch his pitch count more than expected because he was throwing so well.
It was the second-longest scoreless outing of Hess' young career, just shy of the 6⅔ innings he went last May at Tampa Bay.
Hess' outing was over after he walked No. 9-hitter Richie Martin on four pitches. The fans in Toronto booed Hyde when he walked to the mound to fetch his starter, but the skipper had no regrets.
"For David to go beyond that [pitch count] obviously and then some, was incredible,'' Hyde said. "But that was a terrible walk. I hated to do it, but for David's health and one of, hopefully, 30-plus starts, it was the right thing to do.''
Holding a comfortable 6-0 lead in the seventh, Hyde summoned reliever Pedro Araujo for his first appearance of the season. Araujo walked Justin Smoak, then allowed a two-run homer to Randal Grichuk, breaking up the no-hitter, before getting out of the inning with a double play.
Right-hander Mike Wright was brought in for the eighth inning and gave up a solo home run to Freddy Galvis. Left-hander Richard Bleier then gave up two runs in the ninth to cut the Orioles' lead to one before closing out the Blue Jays for his first career save.
It was the second time this season the Blue Jays have been no-hit into the seventh inning. Detroit Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann retired 20 Toronto batters on Opening Day before Teoscar Hernandez singled to end his perfect game.
Hess had a 0.95 ERA in three games against the Blue Jays last season. He was 3-10 with a 4.88 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) for the 115-loss Orioles last season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.