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OC Register: Angels rookie Reid Detmers throws a no-hitter in victory over Rays

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ANAHEIM ― More than any one player, the Angels’ hopes for their 2022 season rested on their pitching staff. They spent $21 million last winter on one pitcher, former All-Star Noah Syndergaard. They used another $6.75 million to sign another, Orange County native Michael Lorenzen. They demoted holdover Jaime Barría to the bullpen and gave 22-year-old left-hander Reid Detmers another spot in the rotation after a shortened spring training competition.

Entering Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Detmers had been a weak link in the rotation. The former first-round draft pick endured his share of growing pains through his first five starts, struggling to a 1-1 record and a 5.32 earned-run average.

In one night, he re-wrote the story of his career.

Detmers threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays before an announced crowd of 39,313 on Tuesday, the remnant of which remained on its feet for the entire ninth inning. It was the 12th no-hitter in franchise history and the first since Felix Peña and Taylor Cole combined to no-hit the Seattle Mariners on July 12, 2019.

Detmers allowed two baserunners, on a walk and an error, and faced only one batter over the minimum as the Angels won 12-0. Mike Trout hit two home runs, catcher Chad Wallach hit another, and Anthony Rendon ― a right-handed hitter batting left-handed in the ninth inning ― hit another home run. By then, outfielder Brett Phillips was pitching for the Rays and the game was hardly in doubt.

There was no question Manager Joe Maddon would allow Detmers to finish the task. No pitcher warmed up in the Angels’ bullpen at any point in the game. Detmers, who had thrown as many as 119 pitches as a collegian at Louisville, got Yandy Diaz to hit a routine grounder to shortstop Andrew Velazquez on his 108th and final pitch.

The Angels built a commanding lead early against veteran right-hander Corey Kluber. After three innings, they led 8-0.

Meanwhile Detmers, as efficient as he was effective, kept humming along en route to baseball’s first individual no-hitter of 2022. Of his 108 pitches, 68 were strikes. His fastball touched 94 mph. His changeup, curveball and slider served him early and late in the counts.

Detmers only fell behind 3-and-0 twice. He issued his only walk to Taylor Walls on a letter-high curveball to begin the sixth inning. Two batters later, Kevin Kiermaier grounded into a double play, which Jared Walsh started by stepping on first base then deftly throwing to Velazquez covering second base, where Walls was tagged out.

It was Walsh who committed the game’s only error, on a ground ball to his right in the seventh inning. Detmers beat the batter, Phillips, to first base, but Walsh could not come up with the ball cleanly and could not get off a throw to Detmers. When the play was announced as an error, the crowd let out a cheer of relief.

Isolated at the farthest end of the third-base dugout for the latter stages of the game, Detmers kept his cool. As the final out was recorded, he threw both hands in the air, pumped his left fist in the air, and embraced Wallach in front of the pitcher’s mound as his teammates raced to join the celebration.

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