Angels nearly get no-hitter from bullpen, beat Rangers 1-0

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Jim Johnson throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled off Blake Parker with one out in the eighth inning, spoiling the Los Angeles Angels' bid for an unprecedented no-hitter against the Texas Rangers.

Los Angeles was closing in on the record for most pitchers used in a no-hitter. The Houston Astros set the mark with six pitchers while shutting down the Yankees in 2003. Roy Oswalt started that game but was injured in the first inning. The Mariners matched that record in 2012.

Jim Johnson opened Tuesday night's game with 1 1/3 innings, and Noe Ramirez, Hansel Robles, Cam Bedrosian, Justin Anderson and Jose Alvarez followed with no-hit ball. Parker retired Willie Calhoun to start the eighth before Kiner-Falefa lined a clean single into right field.

The Angels led 1-0 through seven innings.

Unlike the Astros in their no-hit bid, the Angels planned to make this one a bullpen game, following a trend started by the Tampa Bay Rays this season of using relievers as openers. Los Angeles is using the strategy to cover for an injury-decimated rotation that is without Shohei Ohtani, Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs and more. Manager Mike Scioscia used four bullpen games in August.

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