Jimenez gives Rockies first real no-hit taste
Team had been on wrong side of no-no twice before
The Colorado Rockies had never pitched a no-hitter.They were one of four franchises -- along with the New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres -- without a no-no. On Saturday, Ubaldo Jimenez, a 26-year-old right-hander, broke the streak for the Rockies with a no-hitter of the Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta. He walked six and struck out seven -- and also drove in and scored a run -- in Colorado's 4-0 victory. The Rockies' streak was no huge surprise, considering the team plays half its games at hitter-friendly Coors Field in Denver. But in 1996, in the club's second season at Coors Field, the Rockies got no-hit not once, but twice. Every team in the Major Leagues has been no-hit at least once. The first against the Rockies was by Al Leiter in an 11-0 loss to the Marlins at Joe Robbie Stadium. It was the first no-hitter of the 1996 season. Dwight Gooden pitched a no-hitter for the Yankees five days later. The third and final no-hitter that season was thrown at Coors Field by Los Angeles Dodger Hideo Nomo, one of two no-hitters during his career. Nomo's no-no took place on a chilly and rainy night in Colorado on Sept. 17. The game was delayed because of rain. Nomo started the game from his usual unorthodox tornado windup. However, because of a wet mound, he decided after the first inning to pitch the rest of the game from the stretch. "He was unbelievable man," said former Rockies third baseman Vinny Castilla. "He had his game going that day. That splitter was working big time and his fastball was 93, 94. He was throwing hard that day, too, and his split would disappear in front of you." The Rockies have thrown one one-hitter. Jason Jennings, Tom Martin and Brian Fuentes combined for the one-hitter June 20, 2006, against Oakland. Jason Kendall hit a single in the first inning off Jennings. Before Jimenez's gem Saturday, Pedro Astacio had gone the deepest of any Rockies pitcher without allowing a hit. Astacio took a no-hitter into the seventh inning twice -- against the Brewers in 1999 and the Giants in 2001. Both games ended up being three-hitters.
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