Angels honor Skaggs, throw combined no-no in rout
In their first home game since teammate Tyler Skaggs' recent death, Taylor Cole and Felix Pena teamed for the 13th combined no-hitter in major league history as the Los Angeles Angels earned a 13-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners Friday night in Anaheim, Calif.
Every Angels player wore the No. 45 with the name Tyler Skaggs on the back of their jerseys, in honor of Skaggs, who passed away July 1. The Angels held a ceremony to honor Skaggs before the game and his mother, Debbie, threw out the ceremonial first pitch — a perfect strike caught by Skaggs' best friend on the Angels, Andrew Heaney.
It was the 11th no-hitter in Angels history, and the second combined no-hitter. Mike Witt (seven innings) and Mark Langston (two innings) paired up for a no-hitter — also against the Mariners — on April 11, 1990.
"That was one of the most special moments I have been a part of on a major league field, 25 years," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "Just the way the game went, and culminating with a no-hitter. You feel like it's partly Skaggy's no-hitter."
Cole served as the club's "opener," needing just 22 pitches to get through two innings. Pena (7-2) entered the game to start the third inning and allowed only one baserunner — a one-out walk to Omar Narvaez in the fifth inning — over the remaining seven innings to finish it off.
"Now we have an angel taking care of us in heaven," said Pena, through a translator, on the Fox Sports West broadcast.
The closest the Mariners came to a hit came in the sixth inning, when Mac Williamson led off with a hard-hit grounder toward the hole at short. But third baseman Matt Thaiss made a diving stop and strong throw to first to record the out.
The Angels had plenty of offense, getting 13 hits in all, including three each from David Fletcher, Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons.
Trout had two hits in the first inning alone, hitting a two-run homer (No. 29) and adding a two-run double. Trout finished with a homer, two doubles, a walk, hit-by-pitch and six RBIs. Justin Upton also homered for Los Angeles.
"This was definitely for him and he was definitely watching over us tonight," Trout said afterward on MLB Network.
The Angels essentially put the game away in the first inning when they sent 13 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on eight hits.
Fletcher led off with a double and Trout followed with a home run on the first pitch he saw from Mariners starter Mike Leake (7-8), crushing an 89-mph sinker an estimated 454 feet for a 2-0 lead.
Simmons and Dustin Garneau each had RBI singles, and Trout came up for a second time in the inning and had a two-run double.
"This is for him, his family," added Trout. "You can't make this stuff up, man, this is incredible. We obviously loved him, and it's a very emotional night for all of us."