Four Phillies combine to no-hit Braves

Monday’s no-hitter was a team effort, in a game started by Cole Hamels (left). Curtis Compton/AP
Curtis Compton/AP
Monday’s no-hitter was a team effort, in a game started by Cole Hamels (left).

ATLANTA — On Labor Day, Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia bullpen spread the workload on a no-hitter.

Hamels and three Phillies relievers combined on the season’s fourth no-hitter, blanking the Atlanta Braves, 7-0, Monday and giving a last-place team a rare reason to celebrate.

It was all the more unusual in that Hamels left the game with his bid intact after six innings. He was fine with the decision, too, having already thrown 108 pitches on a hot afternoon at Turner Field.


‘‘Just understanding the situation, every time I went out there I was battling control issues,’’ Hamels said. ‘‘I wasn’t getting ahead of guys.”

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Hamels (8-6) struck out seven, matched a season high with five walks, and hit a batter.

Relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon each pitched a perfect inning to close out the 11th combined no-hitter in big league history. A smiling Hamels watched from the bench as they finished off what he started.

‘‘I think having a combined no-hitter is very difficult because guys have to come right in and get the guys out, no matter what the situation is,’’ Hamels said.

‘‘It’s a little more dramatic to be able to see that you’re trying to play the cards as best you can against the lineup.’’


Manager Ryne Sandberg knew Hamels was tired and ready to come out of the game. Their discussion was a quick one.

‘‘It didn’t take long,’’ Sandberg said. ‘‘He was pretty well spent there. The early innings had something to do with it. The stressful innings, stranding the runners at second and third a couple of times, but he wasn’t going to go nine. And he ran the bases the inning before.’’

Papelbon was in the middle of the hugs and handshakes on the mound when it was over.

‘‘I think it’s a cool experience,’’ Papelbon said. ‘‘It’s definitely been a rough go at it this year for our ballclub. Something to kind of hang our hat on for the year.”