LOS ANGELES (AP/CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill was removed after throwing seven perfect innings against the Miami Marlins in a 5-0 victory on Saturday night.
Hill (3-0) had thrown 89 pitches and struck out nine when first-year manager Dave Roberts replaced the 35-year-old left-hander with Joe Blanton at the start of the eighth inning.
Blanton stuck out Christian Yelich and retired Marcell Ozuna on a groundout before Jeff Francoeur singled to left. Grant Dayton gave up Dee Gordon’s two-out infield hit in the ninth that put two on, and Kenley Jansen retired Martin Prado on a groundout to complete the two-hitter.
Hill didn’t pitch in the majors between May 29 and July 2 because of a strained left groin and between July 17 and Aug. 24 because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. He has pitched 19 scoreless innings since joining the Dodgers after an Aug. 1 trade with Oakland.
On April 8, Roberts removed Ross Stripling with a no-hit bid after 7 1/3 innings and 100 pitches in a game theDodgers lost to San Francisco 3-2 in 10 innings.
Los Angeles began Saturday with a four-game NL West lead and ensured second-place San Francisco, which played at Arizona, could not gain ground.
#Dodgers Rich Hill was the first pitcher throwing a perfect game thru 7 innings to be removed since 1913.
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) September 11, 2016
There has never been in a combined perfect game. In what is considered to be an official perfect game, Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox walked the Washington Senators’ Ray Morgan leading off on June 23, 1917, and Ruth was ejected. Ernie Shore relieved, Morgan was caught stealing and Shore retired the remaining 26 batters.
Left fielder Yasiel Puig, brought back from the minors on Sept. 2, made an outstanding diving catch for the final out of the seventh. Prado hit a drive to deep left-center, and Puig sprinted and as he approached the warning track dived toward the wall to make the catch.
Joc Pederson made a sliding and diving catch on a drive to center by Ozuna in the second.
Hill entered a combined 11-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 16 starts this year. He has just three complete games in 91 big league starts over 12 seasons.
Pederson connected in the fifth and seventh innings, and Corey Seager and Justin Turner hit consecutive homers in the sixth, with Seager connecting for a two-run drive.
Pederson’s first homer of the night went into the upper deck in right field.
Tom Koehler (9-11) allowed four runs and six hits in five-plus innings, and Brian Ellington gave up Pederson’s second homer, Pederson’s 22nd this season. Koehler is 0-3 in his last five starts and has not won since Aug. 9.
For the second consecutive night, a foul ball hit the plate umpire. Tony Randazzo absorbed the shot after Josh Reddick’s foul swing bounced off Miami catcher Jeff Mathis’ mitt and struck Randazzo’s mask in the second inning. Temporarily dazed, Randazzo stayed in the game. On Friday, Brian Knight was hit in the mask area with a foul ball and left the game in the fifth. Chris Guccione replaced Knight on Saturday.
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier pinch-hit in the ninth and grounded out to first in his season debut. Ethier broke his leg during spring training.
Marlins: Pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Bryan Morris are to throw simulated games Sunday in attempts to determine if they will return during the final three weeks of the season. Chen has been sidelined since July 24 because of left elbow inflammation. Morris has missed the last three months because of a herniated lumbar disk in his back.
RHP Kenta Maeda (14-8) starts Sunday’s series finale for the Dodgers and RHP Jose Urena (3-6) for the Marlins.
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