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Twins' Baker loses perfect game in 9th

September 01, 2007|From the Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Three outs from history, Scott Baker jogged out to the mound and calmly took the ball for the ninth inning -- a perfect game dangling right there in front of him.

"What did I have to be nervous about?" Baker asked. "I pitched a great game, no matter how it worked out."

First Baker lost his bid for a perfect game, then one out later fell short of a no-hitter. Still, he led the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals, 5-0, in the second game of a day-night doubleheader Friday.

Baker entered the ninth inning with a chance for only the 18th perfect game in major league history. But he went to a 3-and-0 count on John Buck.

Buck took a strike before the next pitch went inside and plate umpire Jim Wolf called ball four.

"I thought the first one was borderline," Baker said. "But the umpire did a fantastic job."

Esteban German grounded into a forceout and pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney, activated from the disabled list between games, blooped a two-seam fastball to left-center for the Royals' only hit.

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