ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Reuters) - Edwin Jackson of the Arizona Diamondbacks walked seven batters in the first three innings but settled down to throw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
Jackson walked eight and struck out six in a 1-0 victory over the Rays, the former team of the 26-year-old right-hander. A home run by Adam LaRoche in the second inning provided the only score of the game.
Jackson threw a record number of pitches in a no-hitter with 149, and just 79 for strikes.
“It was a pretty controversial move by him (manager A.J. Hinch), especially with me having so many pitches, but I just told him that I wasn’t coming out until I give up a home run or a hit,” Jackson told reporters.
“If he wanted to rest me the next time he could, but I was not coming out of this game.”
The closest call for Jackson came in the third inning when he issued walks to Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena to load the bases with no outs.
Following a pop out by Matt Joyce, his no-hitter and shutout were preserved by a nice fielding play and throw by third baseman Mark Reynolds, and he escaped without damage by inducing Hank Blalock to ground out.
“I was probably a hit away from being out of the game in the third inning. And to be able to come back and throw a no-hitter!” added Jackson.
“If I had told anybody that I had a chance, the way the game started off, to throw a no-hitter, they probably would have laughed at me. And I would have laughed at myself as well.”
The no-hitter was the second for the Diamondbacks’ franchise. Randy Johnson threw a perfect game in 2004, a 2-0 win over the Braves.
Jackson’s no-hitter was the fourth this season in the majors.
Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Ian Ransom
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