Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Ryan threw seven no-hit innings against Kansas City on Tuesday before the Royals broke up a combined no-hitter in the ninth.
The rookie starter threw 106 pitches before ceding the mound to reliever Jovani Moran in the eighth. After Hunter Dozier and MJ Melendez walked with one out in the ninth, rookie shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. broke up the no-hitter with an RBI double off Moran. The Royals would plate two more runs as the Twins held on for a 6-3 win.
Bobby Witt Jr. breaks up the Twins' no-hitter with an RBI double in the 9th inning pic.twitter.com/0aCU9leGSt
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 14, 2022
Ryan: 'I definitely wanted to stay in the game'
Ryan spoke with reporters about manager Rocco Baldelli's decision to pull him from the game.
"I definitely wanted to stay in the game," Ryan said. "I understand why I came out. I don't think I've earned the right to really fight with him too much on that. He's made some really good decisions this year as far a taking me out at the right time as well.
"I'm never gonna be mad at him for that. Obviously the competitor inside — I want to stay in the game and finish that out."
Ryan, 26, flirted with a perfect game in 2021 after a late-season call-up. He retired 19 straight Cleveland batters on Sept. 8 before shortstop Amed Rosario lined a single to left field to break up his bid at baseball history in the seventh inning. He settled that night for seven innings of one-hit ball in a 3-0 Twins win. The win was his first as a major leaguer as he made five starts in 2021.
A full-time starter in 2022, Ryan made the most of his second shot at a milestone on Tuesday before Baldelli pulled him because of his pitch count. He finished the night with nine strikeouts and two walks before Moran took over.
Ryan entered Tuesday sporting a 4.05 ERA and 1.16 WHIP while recording 124 strikeouts and 39 walks in 122.1 innings this season. His 11th win of 2022 improved Minnesota's record to 70-70. He lowered his ERA to 3.83 in the win. The Twins entered Tuesday 5.5 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central and have a lot of ground to cover in the playoff race with 22 games remaining on their schedule.