ANAHEIM — Before Tuesday’s game against the Rays, Angels manager Joe Maddon noted that while rookie lefty Reid Detmers had been improving in his recent starts, he hadn’t quite reached his top gear yet on the mound.
Detmers did more than just that, as the 22-year-old made history in just his 11th career start by throwing a no-hitter against the Rays in a 12-0 win at Angel Stadium. He struck out just two and walked one, but kept Tampa Bay’s hitters off-balance, getting 11 groundouts and eight flyouts. He needed a career-high 108 pitches to record the no-no, getting Yandy Díaz to ground out to shortstop for the final out.
It was the 12th no-hitter in Angels history and the first since Taylor Cole and Félix Peña memorably combined to throw one against the Mariners on July 12, 2019, in the club’s first home game since the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. And it was the first individual no-hitter since Jered Weaver threw one against the Twins on May 2, 2012. It was also the second no-hitter thrown in the Majors this year, as five Mets pitchers combined to throw one against the Phillies on April 29.
When asked postgame if he realized something special was going on, an obviously excited Detmers replied, “I mean, I thought I said around the sixth … I don’t know. I just blacked out, I don’t know.”
Detmers entered with a 5.32 ERA in five outings this year but showed why he entered the year as MLB.com’s No. 1 left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. He had never pitched more than six innings or thrown more than 97 pitches in a Major League game before Tuesday.
Detmers was perfect through five innings before surrendering a leadoff walk to Taylor Walls in the fifth on a 3-2 curveball just above the zone. Vidal Bruján followed with a hard-hit liner to third, but Anthony Rendon snared it for an out. Kevin Kiermaier then hit into a double play to end the inning and keep the no-hitter alive.
Detmers was backed by an offensive onslaught by the Angels, who jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead on right-hander Corey Kluber.
The Rays nearly broke it up in the seventh, when Brett Phillips hit a grounder that first baseman Jared Walsh couldn’t handle. The crowd at Angel Stadium waited for the call from the official scorer and cheered when it was ruled an error. And Walsh also clapped his glove to cheer his own error at first.
Harold Ramirez followed with a deep fly ball to left-center field but Brandon Marsh caught it near the wall for the second out. Randy Arozarena then hit a sharp liner to center field but Mike Trout was able to handle it to end the inning.
Detmers pitched with a big lead most of the game, thanks to that early cushion. Mike Trout and Chad Wallach both homered off Kluber, while Trout and Anthony Rendon both went deep off position player Phillips in the eighth. Rendon’s homer, incredibly, came in his first career at-bat from the left side of the plate.