Astros first to toss 2 immaculate frames in game

Astros first to toss 2 immaculate frames in game thumbnail

5: 54 PM ET

  • ESPN News Services

ARLINGTON, Texas — Houston starter Luis Garcia and reliever Phil Maton each threw an immaculate inning — nine pitches, three strikeouts — after a big opening offensive outburst for the Astros.

Martin Maldonado, their 35-year-old veteran catcher, was in the middle of it all.

Maldonado had a two-run double in Houston’s six-run first on manager Dusty Baker’s 73rd birthday, later homered and was behind the plate for all the strikeouts — 14 in all — as the AL West leaders wrapped up their seventh consecutive series victory against the Texas Rangers with a 9-2 win Wednesday. To be part of that, whenever you make history… “I’m glad that I was catching in this situation,” Maldonado stated, adding that he doesn’t recall ever being part of an inning with such perfection, much less two.

Added Baker: “We hadn’t had a first innings inning like this in a long while. Two records: The same guys that we struck out back-toback-toback with nine pitches. … It was a great day for us. “

Garcia (4-5), fanned nine batters without a walk in six innings, while Texas was held to two runs and four hits. He had a span of five consecutive strikeouts that began with his immaculate second inning — only nine pitches to strike out Nathaniel Lowe, Ezequiel Duran and Brad Miller. These were the first three batters Maton faced when he replaced Garcia to start the seventh. Maton also had a nine-pitch, three strikeout inning.

” We knew they were cruising quite well,” Miller stated. “I wish I had taken better swings and wished they didn’t get it. “

There have now been 106 recorded immaculate innings in major league history, and Wednesday marked the first time there have been two on the same day. The Astros managed to turn them both, putting them in a tie for the most immaculate innings by one franchise (nine each) with the New York Yankees30289.

The only other immaculate inning in the majors this season was by New York Yankees starter Nestor Cortes on April 17 at Baltimore. When Maton had completed his nine-inning of fastball throwing, neither Garcia nor Maldonado realized that there was another immaculate inning. The catcher had tossed the ball to third baseman Alex Bregman when he heard people yelling for the ball. I was talking to the guys in the dugout and then the guys erupted and I said what had happened,” Garcia said. Both pitchers had their baseballs from the game, with their authentication stickers, in their lockers.

Information from ESPN Stats & The Associated Press was used in this report.

Read More