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Madison Bumgarner throws seven hitless innings in shortened win for Arizona Diamondbacks, though it won’t go in books as a no-hitter

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ATLANTA — Madison Bumgarner threw a seven-inning no-hitter, an achievement that won’t count in the Major League Baseball record book but completed a dominant day of Arizona Diamondbacks pitching for a 7-0 win over the Atlanta Braves and a doubleheader sweep Sunday.

After Zac Gallen threw a one-hitter to win the opener 5-0, Bumgarner did even better.

Bumgarner struck out seven and the only Braves batter who reached base against him came on shortstop Nick Ahmed‘s throwing error in the second inning.

The one hit across the two combined games meant the Braves amassed the fewest in a doubleheader in MLB history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous fewest was two hits by Cleveland against the Red Sox on April 12, 1992.

Bumgarner casually shook hands with catcher Carson Kelly after Marcell Ozuna lined out to end it. Then the rest of the Diamondbacks joined in with the tall left-hander and the celebration livened up around the mound.

Officially, Bumgarner’s gem won’t count in the list of no-hitters. MLB’s eight-man committee on statistical accuracy decided in 1991 that a no-hitter was a game of nine or more innings that ended with no hits.

Other pitchers had come close since commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB switched to seven-inning doubleheaders last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It feels good. I just want to say two things before I go celebrate with the guys,” Bumgarner said on a TV interview after the game. “I want to thank these shadows in Atlanta. They helped me out a good bit. That was awesome. And I want to thank Rob Manfred for making these seven-inning games.”

There have already been two official no-hitters this season, by San Diego’s Joe Musgrove and Carlos Rodon of the Chicago White Sox.

Atlanta’s only hit during the afternoon was by reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman, who lined a clean single to right-center field off Gallen with one out in the sixth of the opener.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Tampa Bay Rays deal reliever Hunter Strickland to Los Angeles Angels

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The Tampa Bay Rays traded right-handed relief pitcher Hunter Strickland to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Strickland, 32, has appeared in 13 games for the Rays this season, registering a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched.

He made the Rays roster in spring training as a non-roster invitee.

The eight-year veteran has a 16-16 career record with 21 saves and a 3.14 ERA and 249 strikeouts. He also has pitched for the Giants, Mariners, Nationals and Mets during his career.

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Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ ‘good’ after being activated from IL

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The Chicago Cubs activated outfielder Ian Happ from the injured list after he missed time due to bruised ribs.

“They’re good,” Happ said Saturday morning. “I feel great. It’s not like anything I’ve ever had before. Working out the last three to four days, being able to throw, hit, run and do everything it takes to play in a major league baseball game.”

Happ, 26, was injured in a collision with second baseman Nico Hoerner as both players converged on a pop up in the outfield earlier this month. Hoerner also spent time on the injured list with a forearm injury. He was activated on Friday.

To make room on the roster for Happ, infielder Ildemaro Vargas was designated for assignment. Happ is batting sixth and playing centerfield against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollock (hamstring) likely headed to IL, Dave Roberts says

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Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder AJ Pollock left Friday night’s 9-6 win over the Miami Marlins with a left hamstring strain and is likely headed for the injured list, manager Dave Roberts said.

Pollock was making his first start since straining his left hamstring last week in a 9-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

In the second inning Friday, Pollock singled in the game’s first run but aggravated his hamstring injury when he took third base on Austin Barnes‘ RBI double. Pollock was removed for a pinch-runner.

“He felt it grab, so kind of right now, with where we’re at, I assume it’s gonna be an IL and we’ll probably have a move tomorrow,” Roberts said.

Pollock is batting .277 with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 32 games.

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