OAKLAND, CA - MAY 07: Mike Fiers #50 of the Oakland Athletics pitches with the left field lights malfunctioning during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum on May 7, 2019 in Oakland, California. Fiers pitched a no hitter as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Cincinnati Reds 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Credit: Jason O. Watson
Credit: Jason O. Watson
The Reds had only three base runners, but Fiers also received outstanding defensive assistance. One batter reached on an error, the only Reds runner until Fiers walked two in the seventh inning.
Fiers, who entered the game with a 6.81 earned run average, used 131 pitches, nearly the same as his other no-hitter. That came in 2015 against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he pitched for the Houston Astros and threw 134 pitches.
And in 2016 he pitched seven perfect innings against the Reds when he wore a Milwaukee Brewers uniform.
The 34-year-old right hander from Hollywood, Fla., was a 22nd-round draft pick by the Brewers in 2009 out of Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
Yasiel Puig nearly hit one out of the park leading off the second inning, but center fielder Ramon Laureano snagged it at the wall.
The Reds never had a sniff of a hit until the sixtrh when the A’s made back-to-back defensive plays to preserve the no-hitter.
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With one out in the seventh, Kyle Farmer blooped one into shallow right, down the line. Second baseman Jurickson Profar sprinted 100 feet and made a diving off-the-grass catch.
The next hitter, Joey Votto, blasted one to straightway center and Laureano went above the wall and robbed Votto of a home run.
After that, nobody came close to a hit.
And Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle? He is 0-5 and wondering what he has to do.
In his last start, he lost to the New York Mets, 1-0, when pitcher Noah Syndegaard not only pitched magnfiicently, he hit a home run for the game’s only run.
On Tuesday, Mahle pitched six innings and gave up one run and three hits while walking one and striking out eight.
Unfortunately for him, two of Oakland’s three hits came in the second inning, a single by Kendrys Morales on a 3-and-2 pitch and a two-out double by Profar that kicked away from right fielder Yasiel Puig, enabling Morales to slide home.
It stayed 1-0 until Robert Stephenson gave up a home run that nearly knocked out the right field lights in the seventh inning to give the A’s the 2-0 lead that gave Profar the only two RBI of the game.
Fiers walked Suarez to open the sixth. With the Reds down, 1-0, and Fiers firing a no-hitter, the Reds decided not to bunt and Jesse Winker hit into a double play.
Fiers is the 13th A’s pitcher to throw a no-hitter, joining such Oakland luminaries as Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue and Dave Stewart. And it was the 300th no-hitter in major league history.
After issuing a two-out full count walk to Puig in the seventh, Fiers retired the last seven Reds without so much as murmur.
After scoring 37 runs and hitting 15 home runs in a four-game series against San Francisco in Great American Small Park, the Reds were totally inept in the expanse of Oakland-Alameda Stadium.