Padres nearly leave us flying solo

The San Diego Padres, the only other Major League franchise without a no-hitter, nearly left the Mets alone in that notoriety Saturday.

But the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Juan Uribe broke up San Diego’s no-hitter with a two-out double against Luke Gregorson in the ninth inning, and so there are still two in the club. The Dodgers wound up winning the game 1-0.

Padres starter Aaron Harang made it through six, and Josh Spence, Chad Qualls and Mike Adams kept L.A. hitless through eight.

The Mets have gone 7,896 regular season games without a no-no since 1962. The Padres have gone 6,717 games sice 1969.

The Rockies and Rays were also in the no no-hitter club at the start of the 2010 season but broke free with gems by Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Garza that year.

The Padres actually could have exited the club early in the franchise’s history. On July 21, 1970, the Mets were beating the Padres 1-0, but Padres starter Clay Kirby still had a no-hitter going through eight innings. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, San Diego skipper Preston Gomez decided to pull Kirby for a pinch hitter, Cito Gaston. Gaston struck out, reliever Jack Baldschun gave up a ninth-inning leadoff single to Bud Harrelson and the Mets rallied to pad their lead to 3-0, which would be the final score.

Would Kirby have reached base and started a rally that would have given them a 2-1 lead and an eventual no-no win? Would Kirby have struck out, yet kept the no-hitter alive through the top of the ninth to set up a ninth-inning Padres walk-off victory? We’ll never know, and both clubs still have no no-no.

But the Padres have one more dubious distinction than the Mets. They’re the only Major League franchise without a no-hitter AND without a player hitting for the cycle.

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