Sanchez Redeems Poor Start To Season With No-No

Joey GrissoContributor IJuly 11, 2009

What a way to make history.

On a night that he wasn't even supposed to start, Giants lefthander Jonathan Sanchez tossed the first no-hitter in team history since 1976, when John "the Count" Montefusco did it at Atlanta. It was also the first no-hitter in the majors this season.

His dad, Sirgfredo, chose the perfect time to go to San Francisco and watch his son pitch.

"Right now I'm just going to go home and hang out with my dad," Sanchez said afterwards. "I was pumped that he was here watching the game."

Sanchez may have been perfect last night had Juan Uribe held on to Chase Headley's grounder in the eighth inning. Instead, Uribe let it pop out of his hands, resulting in an error and ending Sanchez's perfect game.

Undaunted, Sanchez came back to retire the next five Padres batters and seal the no-hitter and 8-0 Giants win. "That's in the past," he said of Uribe's error. "You have to keep pitching and forget about that."

He may have also had to forget about the no-hiiter if it wasn't for a clutch catch near the warning track by Gold Glove outfielder Aaron Rowand. With one out, pinch hitter Edgar Gonzalez hit a deep fly ball to centerfield which would have been a home run had Aaron Rowand not leaped up to the wall and grabbed it.

"I was going to go up and over and land on the other side of the fence if I had to, to try to make the catch," Rowand said of the play.

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In addition, Rowand had three RBIs and Pablo Sandoval, who fell just short to Shane Victorino in the All-Star Final Vote, hit a three run homer in the fifth that gave them a seven run lead.

Sanchez returned to the starting rotation after nearly three weeks in the bullpen only because 303-game winner Randy Johnson went on the DL with a shoulder injury. He had posted a 5.30 ERA and was 2-8 as a starter before he was forced to give up his starting role in favor of rookie Ryan Sadowski. Now, it unsure who will step aside in the Giants rotation to make way for Randy Johnson when he finally recovers. One thing is certian though- Giants pitching is getting better by the day and looks to improve as the season progresses.

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