New York Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán throws 24th perfect game in MLB history
(CNN) — The New York Yankees’ Domingo Germán pitched his way into the record books Wednesday night, tossing Major League Baseball’s first perfect game in nearly 11 years.
Germán, 30, allowed no runner on base by any means – including through a hit, a walk or by hitting a batter – while pitching all nine innings in the Yankees’ 11-0 road victory against the Oakland Athletics.
It was just the 24th perfect game in Major League Baseball history, and the first since Seattle Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández threw one against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012.
After retiring Oakland batters Aledmy Diaz and Shea Langeliers in the ninth inning, Germán got Esteury Ruiz to hit a grounder to third baseman Josh Donaldson, who made the throw to first base to seal the historic victory.
Germán, who struck out nine of the 27 batters he retired, stretched out his arms in celebration before teammates swarmed to embrace him.
“So exciting,” Germán said after the feat, speaking to the YES Network through a translator. “When you think about something very unique in baseball, you know not many people have an opportunity to pitch a perfect game.
“To accomplish something like this in my career, you know (it) is something that I’m going to remember forever, be part of history.”
The Domincan-born right-hander, who is the first pitcher from his nation to throw a perfect game, cited the death of a relative a few days ago as inspiration for his historic performance.
“Unfortunately, two days ago an uncle of mine passed away, and … I cried a lot yesterday in the clubhouse. So I had him with me throughout the whole game. I was thinking about him … and it happened,” Germán said.
“This game is a tribute to him. He would have been so happy. He was always someone that really brought a joy to our family, and it happened for him to watch it this way, from up there.”
Germán’s accomplishment was a great way for him to remedy recent struggles: He had allowed 17 runs over 5 1/3 innings in his two previous starts.
In May, Germán was given a 10-game suspension by MLB for violating the foreign substances regulations, after being ejected from a game against the Toronto Blue Jays for using an illegal sticky substance.
“I’m just happy for Domingo,” Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka said. “He’s had a rough last couple starts, and he’s kind of been dragging a little bit. And just for him to do this and get back to being himself – I kind of always felt out of anyone he has a really good chance to do something like this, and for it to all come together tonight is amazing.”
The win by the Yankees (44-36) left them 9.5 games out of first place in the American League East. Oakland so far has the worst record in the majors this season at 21-61.