For the second time this season, an MLB team has held its opponent hitless in a game without registering an official no-hitter.
The Tampa Bay Rays combined to throw seven no-hit innings against the Cleveland Indians in the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday, a 4-0 Rays win. Due to the shortened length of the game, the feat will not be officially recorded as a no-hitter.
Because of that technicality, the team didn't exactly celebrate the win like a no-hitter:
— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) July 7, 2021
The team, however, was happy to call it a combined no-hitter on Twitter ... with an asterisk.
Collin McHugh, Josh Fleming, Diego Castillo, Matt Wisler and Pete Fairbanks were the five Rays players to take the mound, with none throwing three innings or more. The lone blemishes on the day were two walks issued by Fleming and Wisler.
The first pseudo-no-hitter of the season was a complete-game effort from Madison Bumgarner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, blanking the Atlanta Braves on April 25.
MLB's season of no-hitters
It's already clear the 2021 MLB season will be known for many things in the future — a return to normalcy from the pandemic, Shohei Ohtani's historic season, the clash over sticky substances — but it's the season's no-hitters that may be its biggest mark in the record books.
With the Chicago Cubs' combined no-hitter on June 24, the league has already tied the modern record for no-hitters in a season with seven, and we have a full second half to add onto that run. Joe Musgrove (April 9), Carlos Rodon (April 14), John Means (May 5), Wade Miley (May 7), Spencer Turnbull (May 18), Corey Kluber (May 19) and the Cubs have all accomplished the feat.
If you count the two seven-inning no-hit performances by Bumgarner and the Rays, the record has already been broken.
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