Rockies' Jimenez no-hits Braves, 4-0
ATLANTA — Ubaldo Jimenez pitched the first no-hitter in the Colorado Rockies' 18-year history, dominating the Atlanta Braves in a 4-0 victory tonight.
Jimenez (3-0) walked six — all in the first five innings. He was helped by Dexter Fowler's diving catch on Troy Glaus' drive to left-center field in the seventh inning. Jimenez was at his best in the final innings, reaching the high 90s with his fastball through the final batter.
"That was unbelievable," Jimenez said. "The way he dove, I was like unbelievable."
In the ninth, Martin Prado popped out to second baseman Clint Barmes, Chipper Jones hit a fly ball to left field and Brian McCann grounded out to Barmes on Jimenez's 128th pitch to end the game.
Jimenez thrust his arms in the air and was swarmed by teammates as he celebrated history for himself and his franchise.
The 26-year-old right-hander struck out seven and had an RBI single in the fourth inning.
It's baseball's first no-hitter since Mark Buehrle's perfect game last season. Buehrle faced the minimum 27 batters for the Chicago White Sox in a 5-0 no-hit victory over Tampa Bay on July 23, 2009.
Randy Johnson was the last pitcher to hold the Braves hitless, when he was perfect against them in a 2-0 victory for Arizona on May 18, 2004.
Jimenez began to establish himself as one of the majors' top young pitchers last year, when he went 15-12 with a 3.47 ERA and a team-best 218 innings to help the Rockies win the NL wild card. He has a 1.29 ERA in three starts this year.
Jimenez threw a major league-high 128 pitches against Atlanta, but the heavy workload is nothing new for the Dominican right-hander. He had at least 100 pitches in 29 of his 33 starts last year and finished with 3,570 total, second-most in the NL behind St. Louis' Adam Wainwright (3,614).
"Probably after the seventh inning I was like 'Whoa, there's only two innings left. I have a chance to do this,'" he said.
The Rockies have only one one-hitter in their history. Jason Jennings, Tom Martin and Brian Fuentes combined on a one-hit shutout in a 6-0 win over Oakland on June 20, 2006.
Jimenez walked leadoff batter Melky Cabrera in the third. Kenshin Kawakami bounced his attempted sacrifice bunt to Jimenez, who threw out Cabrera at second base. Kawakami was safe at first and moved to second with two outs on Prado's second walk. But with Chipper Jones at the plate, Kawakami was picked off second base by catcher Miguel Olivo to end the inning.
Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez led off the game with a double and scored on Troy Tulowitzki's sacrifice fly to left field.
The Rockies added three runs with two outs in the fourth. After singles by Brad Hawpe and Ian Stewart, Jimenez drove in Hawpe with a single up the middle. Gonzalez added a two-run double.
Kawakami (0-2) gave up eight hits and four runs in five innings. He had two walks and two strikeouts.
Left-hander Jonny Venters, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett earlier Saturday, gave up one hit in three scoreless innings in his major league debut.