ST. LOUIS (AP) – Washington Nationals right-hander AnÃbal SÃ¡nchez has not allowed a hit through seven innings of Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
SÃ¡nchez retired his first 10 batters before Kolten Wong walked in the fourth for St. Louis’ first baserunner. He stole second and went to third on catcher Yan Gomes’ throwing error, but Marcell Ozuna fouled out to end the inning.
SÃ¡nchez has struck out five, walked one and hit two batters in his ninth career postseason start, throwing 89 pitches.
SÃ¡nchez got a break in the fifth when Matt Carpenter tipped a 1-2 pitch that bounced off the dirt and into Gomes’ mitt. Carpenter briefly argued the ball wasn’t caught cleanly, but it was ruled a strikeout – that play can’t be reviewed.
The 35-year-old SÃ¡nchez pitched a no-hitter as a rookie with the Florida Marlins in 2006. He also threw six hitless innings in the opener of the 2013 AL Championship Series for Detroit against Boston but was pulled after 116 pitches. The Tigers bullpen finished a one-hitter in a 1-0 victory.
There have been two no-hitters in postseason history. Don Larsen threw a perfect game for the New York Yankees against Brooklyn in the 1956 World Series, and Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 NL Division Series.
Washington led 2-0 on Gomes’ two-out RBI double off Miles Mikolas in the second inning and Howie Kendrick’s RBI single off John Brebbia in the seventh Friday night.
The Nationals are without closer Daniel Hudson, who was placed on paternity leave earlier Friday.
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