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Kyle Freeland narrowly misses out on first no-hitter by a Rockies pitcher at Coors Field

By: Paul Klee
July 9, 2017 Updated: July 9, 2017 at 8:00 pm
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Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland delivers to Chicago White Sox's Adam Engel in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 9, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER — Never underestimate the mental fortitude of a Colorado guy.

Salute, Kyle Freeland. The Denver native and Thomas Jefferson graduate came so close to making history on Sunday, taking a no-hit bid into the ninth inning of a game against the White Sox. Chicago slugger Melky Cabrera broke up the no-hit bid with a single over the outstretched arm of Nolan Arenado with one out in the ninth.

Freeland left the game with a 10-0 lead. The Rockies have never thrown a no-hitter at Coors Field. Freeland's effort was the second-longest no-hit bid by a Rockies pitcher anywhere, behind Ubaldo Jimenez's no-hitter in 2010. A crowd of 35,541 helped Freeland to the dugout with a standing ovation. 

Freeland was already one of the best stories of a memorable start to the season for the Rockies. Selected in the first round of the 2014 draft by his hometown team, Freeland threw a no-hitter down the road at TJ. The final score there? 10-0.

Sunday, Freeland struck out nine batters, allowed three walks and faced one serious jam, in the seventh. When he got Tim Anderson to pop up to right field to end the inning, Freeland stepped over the first-base chalk line and erupted with a scream. The critical defensive play — the one that made you think this could be the day — came from right-fielder Gerardo Parra, whose diving catch in the eighth sent goosebumps around the park. Only one pitcher — Hideo Nomo of the Dodgers in 1996 — had thrown a no-no at the notoriously hitter-friendly Coors Field.

More to come on Freeland's near no-no on Gazette.com.

Twitter: @bypaulklee

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