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Miami Marlins' Edinson Volquez no-hits Arizona Diamondbacks

By
Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (36) throws a pitch. Volquez became the first pitcher of 2017 to throw a no hitter. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (36) throws a pitch. Volquez became the first pitcher of 2017 to throw a no hitter. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI -- Three pitches into Saturday's game, Edinson Volquez sustained a collision that nearly ended his day.

Volquez stayed in the game ... and made history.

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Pitching on what would have been the 26th birthday of his friend and former teammate, the late Yordano Ventura, Volquez pitched his first career no-hitter and the sixth in Miami Marlins history, defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0 at Marlins Park.

Volquez (2-7), who had started his Marlins' career 0-7 before finally winning on Monday, walked just two batters and struck out 10. He struck out the side in the ninth inning, including the last batter, pinch hitter Chris Owings.

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Before the game, Volquez had posted a picture of himself and Ventura, his former Kansas City Royals teammate who was killed in a car crash last year.

"I was pretty close to him in Kansas City for two years. He passed away, and it really hurt," Volquez said. "It was special for me to dedicate the game to him."

Things didn't start out great for Volquez.

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Arizona leadoff batter Rey Fuentes hit a grounder to first baseman Justin Bour, who ranged to his left and flipped to Volquez for the out. But Fuentes, with good speed, bumped Volquez from behind, and the pitcher tumbled.

Volquez twisted his right ankle on the play.

"I know Fuentes is really fast," Volquez said of his former teammate with the Royals and San Diego Padres. "It was a really close play. I hit the bag right in the middle, and my ankle twisted."

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Trainers and Marlins coaches came out to check on Volquez.

"I told one of the trainers, 'I can't pitch any more -- it hurts,'" Volquez said. "But I started feeling better in the fourth. And I told them, 'You have to let me pitch now.'"

One of the day's biggest plays came to lead off the fourth, when Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon made a diving stop on a sharp Fuentes grounder.

"He saved the no-hitter right there," Volquez said.

The next play was also big as Volquez made a brilliant grab on a comebacker hit by David Peralta that was tracked at 108 mph.

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By the seventh inning, Volquez said he had convinced himself he was going 'to go for it," and Arizona manager Torey Lovullo realized momentum was not on his side.

"Volquez started feeling the energy of the crowd and the moment," Lovullo said.

Catcher J.T. Realmuto, who caught his first no-hitter as a pro, said he realized Volquez was sharp early on in the game.

"Around the second or third inning, I could tell his stuff was really good," Realmuto said. "I knew he had a chance to have a really good game."

As it turns out, Volquez had a great game and joined an elite group in franchise history. Previous Marlins no-hitters were thrown by Al Leiter (1996); Kevin Brown (1997); A.J. Burnett (2001); Anibal Sanchez (2006); and Henderson Alvarez (2013).

This was just the second time Arizona has been no-hit. The other time was by Sanchez.

Volquez, who was helped by two double-play grounders, needed just 98 pitches to complete his masterpiece, which was the first no-hitter in the majors this season.

Miami (23-32) has won six of its past seven games.

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Arizona (34-24) will try to split the four-game series with the Marlins on Sunday.

Bour went 2-for-4 to lead Miami's offense.

Randall Delgado (1-1) took the loss, allowing six hits, one walk and one run in 5 1/3 innings.

Miami got to Delgado in the fourth inning. Giancarlo Stanton drew a walk, advanced to second on a hit by Marcell Ozuna and scored on a soft single to shallow left field by Bour.

The Marlins scored again in the eighth. And, just as in the fourth inning, the rally was started by Stanton's leadoff walk. Stanton advanced to second on a single by Christian Yelich and scored on a single by Ozuna. Bour hit an RBI double to give Miami a 3-0 lead.

That set up the dramatic ninth inning as Volquez struck out Nick Ahmed, Daniel Descalso and Owings -- all on changeups.

"He had his changeup going really good today, but what people don't know is his fastball command was the best I've seen it," Realmuto said. "His changeup is good every day. But he was able to pound righties in with his fastball, and that's what made his changeup even better."

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Fuentes, the player who collided with Volquez in the first and nearly got a hit past Gordon in the fourth, was philosophical about the outcome.

"I have faith in God," Fuentes said in Spanish, "and if there was a plan for Volquez, today was his day."

NOTES: The Marlins are 7-2 on this homestand, which ends on Sunday. ... Arizona rested C Chris Iannetta and LF Yasmany Tomas. Iannetta has a five-game RBI streak. ... Arizona CF Gregor Blanco (left thumb) sat out his second straight game. ... The fish tank that sits behind home plate at Marlins Park was cracked by a J.T. Realmuto foul ball on Friday night. The fish were not hurt, and the aquarium, which is protected by reportedly shatter-proof glass, was repaired. ... Marlins 1B Justin Bour has made major strides vs. lefty pitchers. Last year, he hit .233 with no homers, two RBIs and a .533 OPS in 30 plate appearances vs. lefties. This year, in 44 plate appearances vs. lefties, he is hitting .359 with five homers, 13 RBIs and a 1.227 OPS.

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