Tom Candiotti of the Cleveland Indians came close to making baseball history Wednesday night at Detroit, but all he wound up doing was pitching a one-hitter and losing to the Tigers, 2-1.
With two out in the bottom of the eighth, Candiotti was pitching a no-hitter. He was also trailing, 1-0. There has never been a no-hitter in which the visiting pitcher lost and pitched only eight innings to get a legitimate no-hitter.
Matt Nokes ruined the knuckleball specialist's "bid" for immortality when he lined a single over second base. Darrell Evans, who had walked and gone to third on a two-base wild pitch, scored on Nokes' hit to make it 2-0. So, when Brett Butler hit a home run in the ninth for Cleveland, it only ruined Jack Morris' shutout.
One of Candiotti's seven walks, an error by first baseman Joe Carter, a sacrifice and an infield out had given the Tigers a run in the fifth inning.
It was the second time in a month that Candiotti (7-14) had a near-miss. On Aug. 2 at Cleveland, he also lost a no-hitter in the eighth on a single by Mike Easler with nobody out. But Candiotti, who had a terrible start and won only two of his first 12 decisions, won that one-hitter.
"I'll tell you what," the frustrated Candiotti said, "it just goes along with the year we're having. We seem like we're doing well, but we've got nothing to show for it. It's tough. It's frustrating. I've given up two hits and I've a win and a loss.
"You've got to tip your cap to the Tigers. They're tough. They're in first and deserve to be there. I think they'll win the East."
There have been 12 no-hitters lost since 1900, but most of them have been lost in extra innings and none by a visitor in a regulation nine-inning game.
Morris (16-7) gave up only four hits until Butler led off the ninth with his sixth homer. He walked only one and struck out eight.
New York 3, Oakland 2--It was anything but an auspicious debut for Rick Honeycutt with the Athletics. On what could have been billed as Former Dodgers Night in New York, Honeycutt was the unfortunate loser in the 10th inning.
His first effort as an A's pitcher was to strike out Don Mattingly. However, the third-strike pitch to the Yankee first baseman, who had singled his other four times at-bat, got away from catcher Mickey Tettleton, and Mattingly reached first base.
Things only got worse. Don Pasqua bunted, and Tettleton fielded the ball, but his throw hit Pasqua in the back, and Mattingly raced to third.
Finally, former Dodger Jerry Royster put Honeycutt out of his misery with a single to right.
The game started out as a pitchers' battle between former Dodgers Dave Stewart of the A's and Tommy John of the Yankees, who have won 30 games between them, 18 by Stewart.
John gave up 8 hits in 6 innings, while Stewart, a strong candidate for the Cy Young Award, gave up 9 hits in 9 innings.
Both John and reliever Tim Stoddard were suspected of illegal trickery. John was given a shakedown in the seventh at the request of Oakland Manager Tony LaRussa. Two balls thrown by Stoddard in the ninth had scuff marks, and his glove was inspected. Neither was caught in the act.
Minnesota 5, Boston 4--Les Straker (7-9) gave the Twins six strong innings at Minneapolis, and they increased their lead in the American League West to 1 1/2 games. Straker gave up two runs and four hits.
Randy Bush drove in two runs with his eighth homer and a sacrifice fly. Mike Greenwell's two-run home run in the sixth was the only damage to Straker.
Seattle 8, Baltimore 6--Mark Langston was the American League's best pitcher in August, posting a 4-1 record and an earned-run average of 2.14. But he got off to a rocky start in September.
Although he improved his record to 16-10 and increased his major league-leading strikeout total to 216, Langston gave up four runs and five hits in the first inning and, before being rescued with one out in the eighth, yielded all six Baltimore runs.
Fortunately for the young left-hander who needs only two more victories to set a Seattle record for most wins in a season, teammates Mickey Brantley and Dave Valle were in a hitting mood.
Valle, 18 for 28 against the Orioles this season, had two run-scoring singles, and Brantley drove in three runs with a pair of doubles.
Chicago 5, Texas 0--Greg Walker hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning at Chicago to break open a tight game.
Walker's 24th home run enabled Dave LaPoint to gain his third victory. LaPoint (3-2) held the Rangers to four hits in seven innings, then Bobby Thigpen pitched the last two scoreless innings.
Milwaukee 3, Kansas City 2--Charlie Leibrandt gave up only four hits at Kansas City, but one of them was a three-run home run by Bill Schroeder and it cost him his 10th defeat.
Leibrandt, who has won 13 for the light-hitting Royals, had won 5 of his last 6 starts.
The Royals, who got only one hit off Ted Higuera Tuesday night, managed three off Bill Wegman (9-10). The runs came on Steve Balboni's two-run home run in the second inning.