ATLANTA – Cole Hamels and three Philadelphia Phillies relievers combined to pitch a no-hitter Monday, beating the Atlanta Braves 7-0 and giving a last-place team a rare reason to celebrate.
Hamels (8-6) was pulled after six innings and said he was fine with manager Ryne Sandberg’s decision. The lefty struck out seven, walked five, hit a batter and threw 108 pitches on a hot afternoon at Turner Field.
Relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and closer Jonathan Papelbon each pitched a perfect inning to finish off the fourth no-hitter in the majors this season. This was the 11th combined no-hitter in major league history.
“I understood coming around the sixth inning that it was going to be a short game (for him),” he said.
“It was nice to see what we could do together. It was fun to watch them and create something very special.”
Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett of the Dodgers and Tim Lincecum of the Giants threw no-hitters earlier this year.
Right fielder Marlon Byrd foiled the Braves’ best bid for a hit, racing in and toward the line to make a diving catch on Chris Johnson’s slicing liner to end the third.
Kevin Millwood and five Seattle relievers threw the last combined no-hitter in the majors, against the Dodgers in 2012.
It was the first combined no-hitter in the 132-year history of the Phillies franchise.
The Phillies have now had 12 no-hitters in their history, including Roy Halladay’s gem in Game One of the 2010 National League Division Series.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg had no hesitation in removing Hamels after six innings.
“He was pretty much spent . . . and he wasn’t going to go nine (innings),” Sandberg told reporters.
“It’s a big moment for the team. We got to do a little champagne toast.”
In the ninth inning, Papelbon got pinch hitter Jose Constanza to fly out to left fielder Domonic Brown, Chris Johnson grounded out up the middle to Jimmy Rollins and Phil Gosselin hit a soft line drive to first baseman Darin Ruf to end the game.
Julio Teheran (13-10) took the loss.
Nationals 6, Dodgers 4
In Los Angeles, Denard Span hit two of Washington’s four homers, Gio Gonzalez got his first victory of the second half and the Nationals beat the Dodgers in a matchup of division leaders.
Giants 4, Rockies 2 Rockies 10, Giants 9
In Denver, Charlie Blackmon lined a two-out single in the ninth inning off Sergio Romo, helping Colorado stop the Giants’ six-game win streak on a long day at Coors Field.
Earlier in the day, San Francisco broke away from a tie and beat Colorado 4-2 in a game that resumed after it was suspended May 22 in the sixth inning because of rain.
In the regularly scheduled game, Rockies reliever LaTroy Hawkins (3-2) blew a save in the top of the ninth. In the bottom half, Mike McKenry led off with a single up the middle off Romo (5-4). McKenry scored from third when Blackmon’s hit fell near the right-field line.
Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer for the Giants.
Cubs 4, Brewers 2
In Chicago, Welington Castillo homered and drove in three runs, Luis Valbuena also hit a home run and the Cubs sent Milwaukee to its sixth straight loss.
Rookie sensation Jorge Soler had two doubles in his home debut for Chicago.
Soler became just the third player in the last 100 years to have at least one extra-base hit in each of his first five games in the majors.
Cardinals 5, Pirates 4
In St. Louis, Matt Holliday had the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh after Kolten Wong’s pinch-hit homer tied it, leading the Cardinals over Pittsburgh.
St. Louis moved into sole possession of first place in the NL Central for the first time this season with its third straight win in a row.
Marlins 9, Mets 6
In Miami, Giancarlo Stanton hit his 34th home run and the Marlins scored three runs in the eighth to beat New York.
Dilson Herrera, a 20-year-old second baseman who is the youngest player in the majors and the only one to jump from Single-A to the big leagues, hit his first career home run and first career triple while driving in three runs for the Mets.
Padres 3, Diamondbacks 1
In San Diego, Cory Spangenberg had a two-run single for his first big league hit and Tyson Ross pitched six strong innings to lead the Padres over Arizona.