SEATTLE — A week after the worst start of his career, Mike Leake came back with his best.
Leake took a perfect game into the ninth inning, losing his bid at baseball immortality when rookie Luis Rengifo hit a leadoff single as the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-0 Friday night.
“It was fun,” Leake said. “As you get closer, you get the shakes and you have to calm yourself down. Other than that, it’s just a matter of making pitches.”
There were hugs all around the clubhouse after Leake finished off a one-hitter and stopped Seattle’s six-game losing streak.
It was an amazing turnaround from his previous outing — the Angels tagged him for seven runs on eight hits in a walk last Friday while he got just two outs, the only time he’s been pulled from a start without getting through the first inning. Seattle lost that game 13-0 as two Angels pitchers combined for a no-hitter on a day their club wore the jerseys of late teammate Tyler Skaggs.
“Wow,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It’s baseball, it’s just crazy. . Just five, six days ago, he was pitching and they were on everything. So you just never know what you’re going to see when you come to the park.”
Leake hadn’t come close to giving up a hit before Rengifo sent his 79th pitch cleanly between the first and second baseman. He hadn’t gone to a three-ball count on any batter and had reached two balls on just six until the ninth.
The fans gave Leake a standing ovation after the hit and he quickly waved to acknowledge their cheers.
“I had confidence because we’d faced him two times in the game,” Rengifo said.
After a walk to Kevan Smith, Leake (8-8) retired the next three batters, striking out Mike Trout on a full-count pitch to end it. Leake fanned six and walked one.
Though all smiles, the bearded, 31-year-old righty admitted he was disappointed. He’d never made it past the seventh inning with a no-hitter at any level.
“Oh, yeah, to get that close,” Leake said. “Hopefully there’s another shot, though.”
Leake threw his second career shutout, erasing the sting of his last start.
“I think a little bit more urgency,” Leake said when asked about the difference. “They came out super urgent last game and I didn’t want that to happen again.”
Leake, who has been the subject of trade speculation with the rebuilding Mariners, improved to 101-95 in 10 seasons. This was his sixth career complete game, and second this year, in 284 starts.
There have been 23 perfect games in major league history, the last by Felix Hernandez of the Mariners in 2012, who was in the dugout cheering Leake.
Leake said his teammates began to drift away from him in the dugout as the game progressed. Toward the end no one was talking to him, though he would occasionally catch guys eyeballing him to see what he was doing.
Daniel Vogelbach hit two three-run homers and drove in a career high-tying six runs against reliever Jaime Barria (3-3).
Leake kept the Angels off the bases with a fastball that was right around 88 mph, along with a cutter, changeup and curve.
“He mixes pitches and mixes speeds,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “You’ve got the cutter and sinker moving in two directions. He’s got the big curveball. He can sometimes drop his arm a little bit on that and make it sweep away from righties. He did an excellent job, threw strikes. Not a ton of strikeouts, but not a lot of solid contact by us as well. It was his night.”
Seattle has six no-hitters in its history, the last by James Paxton against Toronto in May 2018.
The Mariners hadn’t won since before the All-Star break, a stretch that included their no-hitter loss in LA, and had lost 13 of their last 15.
Vogelbach made it 3-0 with a homer in the fourth. He hit his 23rd home run in the fifth.
Los Angeles Seattle
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Goodwin lf 4 0 0 0 M.Smith cf 2 1 1 0
Trout cf 4 0 0 0 Moore lf 2 0 0 0
Ohtani dh 3 0 0 0 J.Crwfr ss 4 1 1 2
Garneau 1b 0 0 0 0 Do.Sntn rf 3 2 1 0
Simmons ss 2 0 0 0 Vglbach 1b 4 2 2 6
Walsh 1b-p 1 0 0 0 Au.Nola 1b 0 0 0 0
K.Clhun rf 3 0 0 0 Narvaez dh 4 1 1 0
Fltcher 3b-ss 3 0 0 0 K.Sager 3b 4 1 1 0
Rengifo 2b 3 0 1 0 T.Mrphy c 4 1 2 2
K.Smith c 2 0 0 0 Negron lf-cf 3 0 0 0
Thaiss 1b-3b 3 0 0 0 D.Grdon 2b 4 1 3 0
Totals 28 0 1 0 Totals 34 10 12 10
Los Angeles 000 000 000 — 0
Seattle 000 532 00x — 10
LOB—Los Angeles 2, Seattle 5. 2B—J.Crawford (15), K.Seager (7), T.Murphy (6). HR—Vogelbach 2 (23). SB—M.Smith (27).
IP H R ER BB SO
T.Cole 2 1 0 0 0 1
Barria L,3-3 32/3 9 10 10 4 4
Cahill 11/3 1 0 0 0 2
Walsh 1 1 0 0 1 2
Leake W,8-8 9 1 0 0 1 6
Umpires—Home, Vic Carapazza; First, Jordan Baker; Second, Marvin Hudson; Third, Nic Lentz.
T—2:32. A—19,976 (47,943).
BRAVES 4, NATIONALS 3 — At Atlanta, Josh Donaldson’s bases-loaded single off Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning lifted Atlanta over Washington after Luke Jackson allowed a tying, two-run homer to Victor Robles in the top half.
Ronald Acuña Jr., who had three hits, led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk off Rodney (0-3) and took second on Dansby Swanson’s single. Freddie Freeman walked on four pitches, loading the bases.
YANKEES 8, ROCKIES 2 — At New York, Edwin Encarnación hit a go-ahead grand slam, a trio of ex-Rockies beat up on their former team and New York defeated Colorado.
Encarnación lined his 12th career slam in the third inning off Kyle Freeland, and first-year Yankees DJ LeMahieu, Adam Ottavino and Mike Tauchman poured it on in their first games against their old club. LeMahieu had two hits and two RBI, Ottavino struck out the side in a perfect relief inning and Tauchman had a career-high three hits, a stolen base and threw out a runner at home plate from left field.
ASTROS 4, RANGERS 3 — At Houston, Justin Verlander struck out 12 in six solid innings, four Houston players hit solo home runs and the Astros held on to beat Texas.
Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez led off the third inning with consecutive home runs to extend Houston’s lead to 4-0. Altuve hit his homer to left-center field, and Bregman sent his to left on the next pitch before Alvarez hit a 474-foot monster shot into the second deck in right field.
ATHLETICS 5, TWINS 3 — At Minneapolis, Marcus Semien led off the game with a home run and later tripled and doubled as Oakland kept rolling, topping Minnesota on a sweltering night.
The temperature at first pitch was 94 degrees on a humid, muggy evening. It was tied for the second-hottest start in Target Field’s 10-year history, trailing only a 97-degree reading on July 16, 2012.
DODGERS 2, MARLINS 1 — At Los Angeles, Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings and combined with Kenta Maeda and Kenley Jansen to help Los Angeles beat Miami.
Playing at Dodger Stadium for the first time since the All-Star break, the NL West leaders turned a Miami error into the go-ahead run in the sixth.
GIANTS 1, METS 0 (10) — At San Francisco, Alex Dickerson raced home from first on a botched fly ball to shallow left field with two outs in the 10th inning and San Francisco won its season-high seventh straight game.
On a night dominated by starting pitchers Jacob deGrom of New York and Tyler Beede of San Francisco, it took a misplay in the field to score the only run of the game. Pablo Sandoval hit a fly ball off Jacob Rhame (0-1) that looked like it would be a routine out to end the inning. But left fielder Dominic Smith came in and misplayed the ball for an error, perhaps distracted by shortstop Amed Rosario.
DIAMONDBACKS 10, BREWERS 7 — At Phoenix, Christian Walker hit a two-run homer to cap the first natural cycle in Arizona’s history, lifting the Diamondbacks over Milwaukee.
The Diamondbacks broke open the game with six runs in the third inning against Jhoulys Chacin (3-10), punctuated by hitting a single, double, triple and home run in four straight at-bats.
WHITE SOX 9, RAYS 2 — At St. Petersburg, Fla., Leury García had four hits, including three doubles, Reynaldo López won for the first time in six starts and Chicago stopped a seven-game losing streak by beating slumping Tampa Bay.
García became the first White Sox player to have three doubles in a game since Adam Eaton against Minnesota on Aug. 2, 2014.
ORIOLES 11, RED SOX 2 — At Baltimore, Anthony Santander and Keon Broxton homered off David Price, and Baltimore got six solid innings from rookie right-hander John Means in a rout of Boston.
Price (7-3) allowed six runs, eight hits and a walk in four innings to take his first loss in 13 starts since April 27. The left-hander was 8-0 at Camden Yards and 16-5 lifetime against the Orioles before turning in a surprisingly ineffective performance.
CARDINALS 12, REDS 11 — At Cincinnati, Jose Martinez homered and singled during a 10-run rally in the sixth inning and St. Louis overcame a seven-run deficit for a wild win over Cincinnati.
BLUE JAYS 12, TIGERS 1 — At Detroit, Marcus Stroman breezed through seven scoreless innings, and Toronto batted around in both the fourth and the sixth on its way to a rout of Detroit.
PHILLIES 6, PIRATES 1 — At Pittsburgh, Bryce Harper’s go-ahead RBI single was one of 15 hits Philadelphia used to beat Pittsburgh.
INDIANS 10, ROYALS 5 — At Cleveland, rookie Oscar Mercado went 5 for 5 and drove in two runs as Cleveland won its sixth straight game, beating Kansas City.
CUBS 6, PADRES 5 — At Chicago, Anthony Rizzo hit a grand slam and Chicago overcame an early home run by Manny Machado to beat San Diego.