CINCINNATI — Homer Bailey threw his second no-hitter in 10 months and the first in the majors this season, pitching the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-0 victory over the slumping San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.
Bailey (5-6) became the third Reds pitcher with more than one no-hitter, joining Jim Maloney and Johnny Vander Meer — still the only big leaguer to toss two in a row. Bailey beat the Pirates 1-0 in Pittsburgh last Sept. 28 and got another 17 starts later.
“Every dog has its day twice, I guess,” Bailey said. “It felt good to do it front of the Cincinnati fans.”
The last pitcher to throw one no-hitter and then another before anyone else in the majors accomplished the feat was Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, according to STATS. Baseball’s career strikeout king did it for the California Angels on Sept. 28, 1974, against Minnesota, and June 1, 1975, vs. Baltimore.
Bailey grew up in Texas, just like Ryan, and wears No. 34 in tribute to his boyhood idol.
Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay are the only other active pitchers with a pair of no-hitters. Halladay, of course, threw one of his in the postseason.
Bailey walked Gregor Blanco leading off the seventh, the only Giants batter to reach base. First baseman Joey Votto alertly threw out Blanco as he tried to advance from second to third on a soft one-hopper that otherwise could have become an infield single for Buster Posey.
“Joey had a great heads-up play. I was almost a little late getting to the bag,” Bailey said.
With 27,509 fans on their feet chanting “Homer! Homer!” Bailey finished it off in the ninth. He jumped to glove Brandon Crawford’s high comebacker, struck out Tony Abreu and retired Blanco on a grounder to third baseman Todd Frazier.
“Going into the eighth and ninth I just said, ‘Why the hell not?’ Here we go again,” Bailey said.