SAN DIEGO (AP) — Andrew Cashner is "totally aware" the San Diego Padres have never had a no-hitter in their mostly sad-sack history, which has now reached 46 seasons and 7,176 games.
After throwing his second one-hitter in a span of five starts, the big Texan is the leading candidate to end that drought.
"That's one of my goals. I definitely want a no-hitter," Cashner said after allowing just one single and striking out 11 in a 6-0 victory against the Detroit Tigers on Friday night. "I don't think there's any reason why I can't build off this. When you get late in a game and your pitch count's high, you've really got to bear down and grind through. I think this will build toward something down the road."
Cashner took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Rajai Davis hit a one-out flare single into center field, just past the glove of outstretched second baseman Jedd Gyorko. Davis stole second and third, and Ian Kinsler walked before Miguel Cabrera hit into a double play.
Cashner ended his remarkable outing by striking out Cabrera, the AL MVP in 2012 and 2013, on a 95-mph fastball.
On Sept. 16 at Pittsburgh, the right-hander carried a perfect game into the seventh inning and faced the minimum 27 batters in a one-hitter. He retired his first 18 batters before Jose Tabata grounded a clean single into right field leading off the seventh.
Cashner said Friday night's one-hitter meant more.
"Just with the guys in their lineup, it was a lot bigger game. They've got a heck of a team over there. A lot of guys can hit the ball out of the park."
Chase Headley hit a two-run homer and finished with three RBIs.
Cashner (1-1) retired 14 in a row before allowing the single. He walked two.
"I felt as good as I've felt in a while," he said. "I'm conditioned to run the bases and to be a complete ballplayer."
Manager Bud Black said Cashner was so good because of "tremendous movement with command" of his fastball. That was a well-pitched game. Well-pitched. As good as you're going to see."
Five of his strikeouts were looking, including all three in the third, when he caught pitcher Rick Porcello, Davis and Kinsler looking at strike three.
"He was just beating guys with his velocity. They just couldn't get the head out front," Black said. "But when you have a pitcher hitting the glove for called third strikes, and you see the look on the hitters, and I saw that early on, I knew he had a good feel for his fastball."