Talk about a warm welcome.
Just days after he was traded from Toronto to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline, Aaron Sanchez had a perfect debut with his new team.
Sanchez led the Astros to a combined no-hitter on Saturday night in their 9-0 win against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park, marking the 12th no-hitter in team history and just the 14th combined no-hitter in MLB history. It’s just the second combined no-hitter of the season, too, following the Los Angeles Angels’ one against the Mariners on July 12 — their first home game after the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
“What a fun night,” Sanchez said. “For me, I was just coming in here trying to have a good impression ... These guys came in behind me and, this is awesome. You can’t write it up any better than this.”
The 27-year-old struck out six batters and walked two more in 92 pitches over six innings, and is the first pitcher to throw six or more innings without allowing a hit in his debut after a midseason trade since 2006. Sanchez, who had lost 10 of his last 12 starts with the Blue Jays, is just the second pitcher in MLB history to be part of a combined no-hitter in his first start with a team, too.
Will Harris led the way for Houston in the seventh inning. Joe Biagini closed the eighth inning out in his debut with the team, and Chris Devenski sealed the deal in the final inning.
The Astros had 15 hits in the win, and jumped up early with three quick runs in the first inning behind a Michael Brantley double and a Yordan Alvarez single. Brantley, one inning after a Jose Altuve hit a solo homer in the fifth, drilled a two RBI double in the sixth to push the Astros to a 6-0 lead. From there, Houston cruised to the nine-run win.
“You just try and want to contribute the best way possible,” Sanchez said. “(The) offense gave me an early cushion to where I could just go out there and kind of do my thing. (Catcher Martin Maldonaldo) behind the ditch was in sync with me all night. It’s just been an unbelievable last few days for me. It’s been really cool.”
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