Before that blast, Trevor Bauer and the Indians' bullpen had combined to hold the Astros hitless. Bauer, a former UCLA and Hart High standout, was pulled after throwing 111 pitches through six innings. He struck out a career-high 11 and walked five.
Bauer gave way to Cleveland relievers Kyle Crockett and Scott Atchison, who each pitched a scoreless inning before Nick Hagadone struck out Chris Carter to begin the ninth. Lowrie then sent Hagadone's 94-mph fastball far over the left-center field wall.
The Indians have not had a no-hitter since Len Barker threw a perfect game in 1981 against Toronto.
Chuckie Jones, a minor league outfielder in the San Francisco Giants organization, was suspended for 50 games without pay for a drug violation. The commissioner's office said that Jones twice tested positive for a drug of abuse, a violation of the minor leagues' drug prevention and treatment program. Baseball defines drugs of abuse to include cocaine, LSD, opiates and Esctasy, as opposed to performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids.
Minor league baseball's new speed-up rules hit a glitch on opening day. The center field clock in Buffalo, N.Y., stopped working after the second inning of the triple-A Bisons' opener against the Rochester Red Wings on Thursday. The game was the first to debut pace-of-play rules introduced this off-season. Pitchers have 2 minutes 25 seconds to begin their windup or come to set between innings. And 20 seconds to do so between pitches. Each pitch is supposed to be timed by three clocks in the stadium — two behind home plate and one beyond center field. The clock in center field that counts down the time between pitches and innings blinked out at the top of the third inning, then came back in the fourth. In the top of the sixth, that same clock and two more behind the plate went dark before lighting up in the bottom half of the inning.
International League President Randy Mobley told the Associated Press that there was a problem with the clocks' communication system. The game took nearly three hours before triple-A Rochester beat Buffalo, 6-3, but that had more to do with a combined six pitching changes, 16 hits, 14 walks and a heavy rain that fell over the final two innings.