Melido Perez matched a record and his brother.
Perez pitched the record-tying seventh no-hitter of the season Thursday night as the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees, 8-0, in a game shortened by rain to six innings.
Perez’s no-hitter, which matched the record set in 1908 and tied in 1917, was a record sixth in the American League this season and the first shortened by rain since Sept. 24, 1988. That’s when his brother Pascual, who was watching Thursday night from the Yankee dugout, threw one over five innings for Montreal against Philadelphia.
“I didn’t think about it at first, but then I remembered when my brother threw a no-hitter in the rain,” Melido Perez said. “I started to think, ‘That might happen to me, too.’ ”
It was only the second time brothers have pitched no-hitters in the majors, matching the accomplishment of Ken and Bob Forsch. Ken pitched one on April 7, 1979, for Houston against Atlanta and Bob threw two for St. Louis--April 16, 1978, and Sept. 26, 1983.
“I’m happy because I got my first no-hitter and because my brother was here,” Melido said.
Pascual, who hasn’t pitched since April 25 because of arm problems, was equally elated even though his team lost.
“I wanted him to pitch well, but I wanted us to win,” Pascual said. “Maybe it would have been better if he had pitched a no-hitter and lost.”
That’s what happened last week to Yankee starter Andy Hawkins (1-7). He held the White Sox hitless on July 1 at Comiskey Park but lost the game, 4-0, when Chicago scored four runs in the eighth inning on two walks and three errors.
“It’s strange, all these no-hitters,” Hawkins said. “But just because I was on the mound having one thrown against us doesn’t make any difference to me. I just wasn’t very good tonight. The guy across the field was better.”
Pascual said he was hoping his brother could throw the no-hitter. But after experiencing Hawkins’ losing no-hitter, Pascual wouldn’t take anything for granted.
“I just knew he was throwing hard and pitching well,” Pascual said. “But you got to be lucky, man. Look what happened to Andy. What can I say? I’m happy. I know we lost, but he’s my brother. He would have been rooting for me if I was throwing it.”
Melido, a 24-year-old right-hander in his third major league season, struck out nine and walked four. The closest the Yankees came to a hit was with two out in the fifth inning, when Alvaro Espinoza hit a high drive to right-center field. Center fielder Lance Johnson made a running catch.
“Espinoza hit the ball good and we were playing him shallow,” Melido said. “Lance made a good play, and when I saw he caught it, I knew the no-hitter was still there.”
Pascual was more anxious than his brother at that point.
“I had a chaw of tobacco and I almost swallowed it when Espinoza hit that ball.”
“I figured I had no chance,” Johnson said. “I thought I was too shallow. I knew it was a no-hitter and I was going to stretch and dive as far as I could. The ball was tailing away and it wasn’t great running conditions.”
Melido came into the game with a 7-7 record and a 3.88 earned-run average. His previous low-hit game was a two-hitter against the Angels on Sept. 15, 1989.
With one out in the top of the seventh inning, Dan Pasqua doubled. Home plate umpire Tim Tschida ordered the field to be covered. The game was called after a 1-hour 3-minute wait.
“It bothers me a little, because I think I could have gone all the way,” Melido said. “But it is still a no-hitter.”
Chicago Manager Jeff Torborg would have been in a bind if the game had resumed. He would have had to decide whether he wanted Perez to warm up again and continue.
“I’m glad I didn’t have to make that decision,” Torborg said. “The guy is so young that you’re afraid to hurt his arm. But we would have sent him back out for warmups and taken it one pitch at a time. When a guy has a no-hitter, you have to at least give him a chance.”
Of 17,586 who showed up, very few remained during the rain delay. A stream of cars left the Yankee Stadium parking lots once the game was delayed.
It was the first no-hitter against the Yankees since Hoyt Wilhelm of Baltimore did it Sept. 20, 1958. It was the first no-hitter for the White Sox since Joe Cowley did it against the Angels Sept. 19, 1986.
The Angels’ Mark Langston and Mike Witt started the no-hit parade this season on April 11, beating Seattle. Randy Johnson of the Mariners pitched the first of a record-five no-hitters in June against Detroit, and he was followed by Nolan Ryan of Texas, who pitched the record sixth of his career. Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers and Dave Stewart Oakland each pitched no-hitters on June 29 and then came Hawkins’ losing effort.
Hawkins extended his no-hit streak against Chicago to 10 1/3 innings Thursday night before Sammy Sosa singled in the third. Ozzie Guillen singled and Johnson gave the White Sox a 3-0 lead with his first major league home run.
Sosa added an RBI single in the fourth and the White Sox pulled away with four runs in the fifth.
Still glowing in his brother’s feat, Pascual realized he had one more obligation.
“I’m going to call my mother,” he said.
Pitchers Teams Date Mark Langston Angels 1 April and Mike Witt Seattle 0 11 Randy Seattle 2 June Johnson Detroit 0 2 Nolan Texas 5 June Ryan Oakland 0 11 Dave Oakland 5 June Stewart Toronto 0 29 Fernando Dodgers 6 June Valenzuela St. Louis 0 29 Andy N.Y. Yankees 0 July Hawkins Chi. White Sox 4 1 Melido Chi. White Sox 8 July Perez* N.Y. Yankees 0 12
* Game called with Chicago batting and one out in seventh inning.
* Seven no-hitters were also pitched in the 1908 and 1917 seasons.