(Reuters) - Josh Beckett pitched the first no-hitter of the Major League Baseball season and first of his career while leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Texan struck out five-time All-Star Chase Utley for the game’s final out before his teammates charged the infield to congratulate Beckett on the latest accomplishment of his decorated career.
In his 321st career MLB start, Beckett threw 128 pitches, struck out six batters and walked three to record the 21st no-hitter in Dodgers history and the team’s first since Japan’s Hideo Nomo in 1996.
For Beckett, a three-time All-Star who won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox, the no-hitter came on the road, where he has struggled recently having gone 4-12 in his last 20 starts heading into Sunday’s game.
There was no sign early in the game of what was to come, as Beckett started slowly.
He took 24 pitches to get through the first inning, but settled down after that, retiring 23 consecutive batters after giving up a walk to start the second inning.
Reporting By Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue