DENVER (AP) — Hometown rookie Kyle Freeland came within two outs of the first no-hitter by a Rockies pitcher at Coors Field before surrendering a sharp single to Melky Cabrera as Colorado beat the Chicago White Sox, 10-0, on Sunday.
Freeland, who’s from Denver and grew up going to games at the hitter-friendly park, struck out the first batter of the ninth inning and then allowed Cabrera’s hit to left field on a 2-2 count.
The 24-year-old Freeland (9-7) threw 126 pitches. He was pulled immediately after the hit and left to a standing ovation.
The lefty struck out a career-high nine, walked three and hit a batter.
Freeland was trying to throw the second no-hitter in Coors Field history. Hideo Nomo accomplished the feat in 1996 when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The only no-hitter in Rockies history was thrown by Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010 at Atlanta.
Edinson Volquez of the Miami Marlins pitched the lone no-hitter in the majors this season, doing it last month against Arizona.
Freeland even had an RBI single in the seventh for the Rockies’ last run.
Reliever Jordan Lyles got the last two outs to complete the one-hitter.
Freeland watched the end from the dugout. When it was over, his teammates on the bench let him walk alone toward the foul line to greet the winning Rockies coming off the field — and to soak in another cheer from a crowd that included his parents.
Pat Valaika drove in five runs, including a three-run homer as part of a five-run sixth that turned a 2-0 lead into a rout. Charlie Blackmon also hit a solo homer.
Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra had the play of the day in the eighth as he sprinted for Yolmer Sanchez’s blooper in short left and then went into a head-first dive to snare the ball. Parra pointed at Freeland, who pumped his fist and tipped his cap in appreciation.
Carlos Rodon (1-2) allowed six runs over 5 1/3 innings in his third start of the season. He began the season on the disabled list with left biceps bursitis.
From Denver, Freeland attended the University of Evansville. He was taken by the Rockies with the eighth overall pick in 2014. His favorite players as a kid were Todd Helton, Larry Walker, the Blake Street Bombers, along with pitchers Jeff Francis and Aaron Cook.
Rockies manager Bud Black predicted this sort of outing. Well, maybe not a one-hitter so much, but how Freeland would throw his first pitch.
Black said it would be a two-seam fastball about 91 mph.
“I hope it’s a strike, too,” he said.
Black was correct on all accounts.
The first baserunnner Freeland allowed was when Jose Abreu talked his way into a hit by pitch in the fourth. Abreu showed home plate umpire Greg Gibson his left arm after an inside pitch and Gibson motioned for Abreu to take his base. Black briefly came out of the dugout to question the call.
Freeland showed some signs of fatigue in the seventh as he walked Abreu and Todd Frazier to start the inning. He got Avisail Garcia to hit into a double play and then Tim Anderson to fly out.
White Sox: RHP Nate Jones (elbow) threw Saturday and felt “a little uncomfortable,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He’s going be reevaluated and we will see what the evaluation is and we will determine what the plan will be from there for him returning.”
Rockies: INF/OF Ian Desmond (strained right calf) is “progressing,” Black said. Black doesn’t know if Desmond will be ready to come off the disabled list on Friday. … Noticeably hobbling, 2B DJ LeMahieu left the game for a pinch runner after a walk in the sixth. The All-Star LeMahieu has been bothered by a groin issue.
White Sox: After the All-Star break, Chicago opens a five-game homestand — three against Seattle and two versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rockies: Jon Gray (2-0, 3.75 ERA) will start Friday when the Rockies return from the break to open a three-game series in New York against the Mets.
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