Two Lansing Lugnuts pitchers combined to no-hit the Peoria Chiefs in the second game of a doubleheader Thursday.
Normally that would be cause for celebration, but the Lugnuts also managed to lose the game 1-0.
Both offenses struggled in the game, as Lansing batters managed only three hits in the seven-inning contest. But the hitless Dozer Park denizens were the ones who managed to plate a run, using a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt, a fielding error, a groundout and a sacrifice fly to get the job done in the bottom of the 6th inning.
Lugnuts starting pitcher Jordan Romano took the loss despite giving up only that one unearned run in his five innings of no-hit ball. (He started the 6th inning but was removed after walking the leadoff batter, who eventually scored.) He struck out five and walked two.
Reliever Josh DeGraaf was on the mound when the Chiefs scored, but did not give up a hit or a walk in his inning of work.
The no-hitter was only the second one pitched by the Lugnuts, whose first season was 1996. The team’s first no-hitter was a nine-inning, 15-0 win over the Dayton Dragons in 2003, pitched by Justin Jones, Wes O’Brien and Mark Carter. (Lugnuts third baseman Donnie Hood hit for the cycle in that game.)
Thursday’s no-hitter was only the fourth one in Midwest League history in which a team pitched a no-hitter but lost the game. The last time it happened was in 2006, when future major-leaguer Wade Davis and the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays lost 1-0 to the Beloit Snappers in the first game of a doubleheader. Incidentally, that unorthodox win late in the season clinched a playoff berth for the Snappers — and the second half of the doubleheader was the last Midwest League game played in Battle Creek, Michigan. (The Southwest Michigan franchise moved to Midland, Mich., and became the Great Lakes Loons.)
The other two times a Midwest League team pitched a no-hitter but lost the game occurred in 1972. The teams were the Clinton Tigers and the Cedar Rapids Cardinals. Both of those games were 1-0 contests.