All it took was one Homer to defeat the Pirates.
Cincinnati pitcher Homer Bailey pitched a no-hitter against the Bucs in Pittsburgh on Friday. In steamrolling the Pirates, the 26-year-old right-hander tossed the seventh no-hitter in the 2012 MLB season.
Adding to the drama, the Reds pushed across just a lone run in the first inning, meaning the game as well as the no-hit bid were in the balance until Bailey retired Alex Presley for the Pirates' 27 out of the night.
Bailey is the 15th pitcher to throw a no-hit game in the history of the Reds, with Johnny Vander Meer famously twirling back-to-back no-no's in 1938. The last Reds' no-hitter was tossed by Tom Browning (a perfect game) in 1988.
The seventh overall pick of the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft, Bailey tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts in the win, per Joe Lemire of Sports Illustrated. He walked one batter and allowed another baserunner via an error by third baseman Scott Rolen.
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PITTSBURGH — Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds threw the season's seventh no-hitter, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 on Friday night.
The seven no-hitters matches the modern record for most in a season, tying 1990 and 1991. There were eight no-hitters in 1884.
The last no-hitter for the Reds was a perfect game by Tom Browning on Sept. 16, 1988. This was the 15th no-hitter in Reds history.
Bailey (13-10) walked one and struck out 10. He threw 115 pitches and retired the side in order in the ninth, striking out pinch-hitter Brock Holt then getting pinch-hitter Michael McKenry and Alex Presley to both pop out.
When Presley's popup was caught by second baseman Brandon Phillips, Bailey was mobbed near the mound by teammates who doused him with water.
The 26-year-old Bailey improved to 5-0 in his six career starts with a 1.19 ERA at PNC Park. All four of his complete games and both his shutouts have come against Pittsburgh.
Cincinnati, which clinched the NL Central title last Saturday, improved to 95-62. The Reds entered the day one game behind Washington (95-61) for best record in the NL.
The other no-hitters this season were: the Chicago White Sox's Philip Humber, the Los Angeles Angels' Jered Weaver, the New York Mets' Johan Santana, San Francisco's Matt Cain, Seattle's Felix Hernandez and a combined six-pitcher effort by the Mariners. Humber, Cain and Hernandez each had a perfect game.
Pittsburgh (76-81) made its own bit of history as it was assured of a 20th consecutive non-winning season with the loss, extending its major North American professional sports record.
Bailey retired the first six batters before third baseman Scott Rolen failed to handle Clint Barmes' ground ball leading off the third inning for an error. Bailey then set down 13 straight until walking Andrew McCutchen with one out in the seventh while clinging to the one-run lead.
McCutchen stole second but then was thrown out by catcher Ryan Hanigan attempting to steal third. Garrett Jones flied out to the warning track in right field to end the inning.
Cincinnati needed to make just one above-average defensive play behind Bailey. Left fielder Todd Frazier ran down Presley's flare toward the foul line to end the third inning. With the Reds employing a shift, left-handed Pedro Alvarez lined out to Rolen leading off the eighth.
A.J. Burnett (16-9) allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
The Reds scored the game's lone run in the first inning on Frazier's sacrifice fly after loading the bases with no outs on singles by Phillips and Zach Cozart and a walk to Joey Votto.
Phillips, Cozart and Rolen all had two hits.
The loss continued the Pirates' downhill spiral. They have gone 13-36 since moving a season-high 16 games over .500 on Aug. 8 with a 63-47 record.
It was the first time Pittsburgh had been no-hit since Hall of Famer Bob Gibson pitched the lone no-hitter of his career in 1971.
NOTES: Cincinnati bench coach Chris Speier said he had a telephone conversation Friday with Dusty Baker, who has missed the last nine games while recovering from a mini-stroke, and the veteran manager "is feeling very, very good and looking forward to getting back." Baker is scheduled to rejoin the Reds on Monday night when they open a three-game series at St. Louis to end the regular season. . Pittsburgh 2B Neil Walker will miss the rest of the season because of lower back soreness that has limited him to just eight games in September. . Reds LF Ryan Ludwick, who has missed eight straight games with tightness in his left groin, is expected to return to the lineup Sunday. . Cincinnati RHP Mike Leake (8-9, 4.73) will face Pittsburgh RHP Kyle McPherson (0-2, 3.54) on Saturday night.