Former Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco helped the Orioles avoid history.
No-hitters seem to be returning to vogue, as six have already been thrown this season, with the most recent thrown by Corey Kluber of the New York Yankees on May 19.
Had it not been for former Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, a seventh no-hitter – albeit a combined one – likely would have happened between the Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Monday.
Astros starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi tossed five no-hit innings to begin the game, allowing only a walk while striking out nine. Cristian Javier followed with two no-hit innings of his own, putting the Astros just six outs away from making history. Brandon Bielak struck out his first batter faced in the eighth, but then hit the next — setting up Franco to come up huge.
On a 1-2 count, Franco launched a 420-foot, two-run home run to center field. A noble effort, but not enough to prevent the eventual 10-2 loss.
The at-bat was controversial, however; two pitches prior to Franco’s home run, umpire Angel Hernandez continued to receive criticism on social media for robbing Bielak of a strike-three call.
Franco has broken up no-hitters late in games before, including with the Phillies in early June 2015, when he singled to snap Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake’s no-hitter with two outs in seventh.
The Orioles have fallen 11 times in their last dozen games and are 23-49 on the season. Across 260 at-bats in 2021, Franco is hitting .212 with nine home runs, 38 RBI, 14 walks, and 45 strikeouts. His former Phillies and now-Orioles teammate, Freddy Galvis, is hitting .253 with as many home runs (9), 26 RBI, 17 walks, and 55 strikeouts spanning 233 at-bats.
2021 MLB No-Hitters
- Joe Musgrove (April 9, 2021; San Diego Padres)
- Carlos Rodon (April 14, 2021; Chicago White Sox)
- John Means (May 5, 2021; Baltimore Orioles)
- Wade Miley (May 7, 2021; Cincinnati Reds)
- Spencer Turnbull (May 18, 2021; Detroit Tigers)
- Corey Kluber (May 19, 2021; New York Yankees)
Only three combined no-hitters have taken place since Phillies pitchers Cole Hamels (6 IP), Jake Diekman (1 IP), Ken Giles (1 IP), and Jonathan Papelbon (1 IP) no-hit the Atlanta Braves on September 1, 2014. The last time the Orioles were no-hit was August 12, 2015, facing the Seattle Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma.