Kenta Maeda nearly made history Tuesday night for his new team.
Maeda threw 115 pitches — surpassed his own career-high of 111 pitches, and the 2020 high of 112, thrown by Derek Holland and Max Scherzer in this shortened season. The 32-year-old right-hander, who is in his first season with the Twins after being traded from the Dodgers, looked tired as he sat down the Brewers in the eighth.
Manager Rocco Baldelli sent Maeda out for the ninth, which was no guarantee given the way managers rarely allow pitchers to go too deep into games these days — especially this season. In the ninth, Sogard took the first strike from Maeda but singled on a change-up.
The Twins then went to the bullpen and it didn’t take long for their 3-0 lead to disappear. A double by Avisail Garcia followed, then Christian Yelich walked and Keston Hiura singled to bring home Sogard. When Jedd Gyorko grounded to shortstop, the Twins tried to turn a game-sealing double play, but a throwing error allowed two Brewers runs to score and tie the game.
This went from possible no-hitter to Twins disaster in about 10 minutes, but Maeda’s club eventually walked off with the win in the 12th inning as Byron Buxton sprinted home on a Jorge Polanco grounder.
Maeda’s final line reads 8 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 Ks and no decision despite the flirtation with 2020’s first no-no.
The last MLB no-hitter came Sept. 1, 2019, when Justin Verlander no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays. In all, there were four no-hitters thrown in the big leagues in 2019 — two of them being combined no-hitters. Maeda has throw a no-hitter before, just not in MLB. In April 2012, Maeda tossed a no-hitter in his native Japan, pitching for the Hiroshima Carp.
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