Astros victim of one-hitter
SAN DIEGO—While the Houston Astros were relieved not to fall victim to another no-hitter last night, they had little else to celebrate.
Edinson Volquez threw a one-hitter—an infield single in the fourth inning that bounced off his glove—for the first complete game and shutout of his career as the San Diego Padres nipped the Astros 1-0.
San Francisco’s Matt Cain threw a perfect game against the Astros back on June 13.
“It’s going to turn here, and it’s going to turn here quick,” Astros’ manager Brad Mills vowed.
“We’re looking forward to it turning tomorrow night [Friday] in Arizona.”
Alexi Amarista doubled and Logan Forsythe singled in the first inning against rookie Lucas Harrell to account for the game’s only run.
Harrell (7-7), who threw a shutout against San Diego on June 27 in Houston, gave up four hits and struck out six while walking one in seven innings.
“With our offence, I feel like we can score enough runs if I can keep it close,” Harrell noted.
Volquez shut down the Astros except for an infield single by Matt Downs, who hit a comebacker to the left side of the mound.
Third baseman Chase Headley and Volquez converged on the ball. Volquez opted to try to snare the ball but dropped it.
He did not try to throw out Downs at first base.
“I’ve got to work on my backhand,” Volquez conceded. “I was supposed to catch that ball.
“I’ve got fielding practice tomorrow [Friday], I’ve got to work on that.”
Downs, meanwhile, was glad to not be a part of history.
“You look back and you’re glad he didn’t no-hit you,” he remarked.
In becoming the first Padres’ pitcher to throw a one-hitter at Petco Park, Volquez struck out five and walked three, throwing 118 pitches (76 for strikes).
The game was Padres’ second complete game of the season and sixth shutout.
“He’s been pretty good lately,” Padres’ catcher Yasmani Grandal said. “Sometimes the walks kill him, but that was one thing he didn’t do tonight was walk too many guys.
“It seemed like every time he fell behind, he came back, so that’s something he needs to keep doing,” Grandal stressed.
“He’s a really good pitcher when he allows himself to be.”
Volquez is just the third Padre to throw a shutout at Petco Park. Jake Peavy did it on Aug. 23, 2005, also against Houston, while Ismael Valdez did it on June 5, 2004 against Milwaukee.
“A couple of hiccups with maybe a couple of walks, but his stuff was good,” said Padres’ manager Bud Black.
“They didn’t hit many balls hard. He was in command of the game.
“Those are tough games because when the score is 1-0, every pitch is critical,” Black noted.
This game marked the last non-interleague meeting between the Astros and Padres as Houston will move to the American League West in 2013.
Elsewhere in the NL, Atlanta nipped San Francisco 3-2, New York beat Washington 9-5, Cincinnati topped Arizona 7-6, and Chicago doubled Miami 4-2.