TAMPA Bay Rays right-hander Drew Rasmussen took a perfect game into the ninth inning of Sunday’s 4-1 victory against the Baltimore Orioles before yielding a double to Jorge Mateo on the first pitch of the inning.
Mateo ripped a cutter just inside the third-base line to end Rasmussen’s pursuit of perfection. Mateo later scored on a wild pitch to end the shutout.
“If you can find a way to complete it by making good pitches, then kudos,” Rasmussen said during a postgame television interview. “It’s one of those things that more likely than not you’re going to give up a hit — it would have been really cool not to — but it’s just how it goes.
“Jorge (Mateo) put a good swing on it.”
Rasmussen struck out seven in 8 1/3 innings. He was pulled after 87 pitches. Jason Adam recorded the final two outs.
Rasmussen, 27, retired Austin Hayes on a grounder to first to end the eighth and set up the opportunity.
“Once you start rolling and you realize the ball is coming out well, it’s about making one pitch at a time,” Rasmussen said. “We had some great results today.”
Rasmussen was looking to join Matt Garza (2010) as the only Rays’ pitchers to throw a no-hitter.
Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners tossed the most recent perfect game in 2012.
Randy Arozarena hit a three-run blast in the third inning to lead Tampa Bay’s offense. — Reuters