Houston Astros pitcher Cristian Javier and two substitutes teamed up for the first no-hitter against the New York Yankees in 19 years, beating baseball’s best team for a 3-0 win at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
Javier (5-3), a 25-year-old right-hander without a complete game in 84 professional starts, set career bests with 13 strikeouts on 115 pitches over seven innings before being pulled by manager Dusty Baker after the seventh inning.
“I’m really happy right now, really proud of this moment that God has given me,” Javier said via interpreter.
Closer, Ryan Pressly, who finished the jewel with a 1-2-3-ninth, said: “Doing it in New York is the best feeling in the world.”
In a matchup of the teams with the top two records in the American League, New York came nowhere near scoring in front of a silenced 45,076 crowd. The top Major League Yankees lost to Tampa Bay for the first time since May 28-29 in a row, putting their only runners to three walks and one error.
Hector Neris replaced Javier in the eighth inning, but not without drama. Neris allowed two walks before coming in with a flyball from the inning on Joey Gallo’s warning lane and a hard fielder pick Aaron Judge grounder.
“I said, ‘I gotta get it for my team, I gotta get it for Javy,'” said Neris, who had never played in a no-hitter before.
Pressly, who gave up a three-run tie homer on Thursday night against Aaron Hicks in a 7-6 loss, retired in the ninth for his 15th save with 18 chances three straight batters. After Giancarlo hit Stanton in a game-ending groundout, the Astros took the field and gathered near the mound for a brief celebration.
Only two no-hitters have been thrown against the Yankees since Baltimore’s Hoyt Wilhelm did it in 1958. Both were hit by the Astros, who combined six pitchers to do it at Yankee Stadium on June 11, 2003.
Houston hit on solo homers from rookie JJ Matijevic in seventh and Jose Altuve in eighth. Yuli Gurriel added a pinch of RBI single in the ninth.
New York has not scored at all for the eighth time and been home for only the sixth time. Two were from the Astros, both of which were combined efforts.
Houston was the last team to do so in 2003 across the street from old Yankee Stadium. Roy Oswalt pulled his right groin after his second pitch in the second inning, as did Pete Munro (2 2/3 innings), Kirk Saarloos (1 1/3), Brad Lidge (two), Octavio Dotel (one) and Billy Wagner (one) followed 8-0.
The Astros now have 14 no-hitters in their history, the most in the majors since Houston started the game in 1962. Three were combined efforts, also a record.
Javier threw 71 of 115 pitches for strikes. His previous high was 107 pitches against Seattle on April 27 last year.
He led Josh Donaldson on a full-count fastball with two outs in the first and then retired 17 straight until Donaldson reached when third baseman Alex Bregman went first in the seventh from an error on a one-out grounder threw. Stanton took a called third strike and Gleyber Torres swung it out.
Javier, who lowered his ERA to 2.73, started because Jake Odorizzi is injured. Javier started 12 of his first 18 batters with a strike, but his last five with a ball. His 50.9% first strike percentage was 155th among 157 pitchers who had 150 or more plate appearances this season.
Matijevic, a 26-year-old draft drafted by Houston in the second round of the 2017 amateur draft, made his debut on April 22. He’s 2-14, and both hits are solo homers – he went deep against Chicago White Sox’s Michael Kopech on 6/19.
Yankees starter Gerrit Cole didn’t allow a hit until Jake Meyers landed a slider in right field with two outs in fifth. On his previous start, Cole unsuccessfully held Tampa Bay until June 20, when Isaac Paredes’ single peaked at number eight. The 31-year-old right-hander played a perfect game in game seven against Detroit on June 3 before Jonathan Schoop scored two exits in a single.
There have been three no-hitters so far this season, with five New York Mets pitchers combining against Philadelphia on April 29 and Los Angeles Angels’ Reid Detmers pulling off the feat against the Rays on May 10.
Houston’s last no-hitter was thrown by Justin Verlander in Toronto on September 1, 2019.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.