Cardinals’ Jack Flaherty loses no-hitter on bad-hop single

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St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty lost his no-hit bid in the seventh inning when Eduardo Escobar’s hard grounder took a bad hop and couldn’t be fielded cleanly by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Escobar lined a one-hopper that appeared to hit the seam between the turf and dirt in front of the first base bag. Goldschmidt fell over changing direction and couldn’t corral the ball with his bare right hand.

Flaherty retired the next three batters after the hit and has struck out 11. His only previous hint of trouble came in the fourth inning, when he gave up back-to-back walks to Domingo Leyba and Eduardo Escobar before striking out the next two batters.

The 23-year-old Flaherty is continuing his run of excellent September pitching. He had a 2-1 record with a 1.20 ERA in his previous four starts, including giving up just one run over eight innings in his last outing against the Chicago Cubs.

Flaherty carried a no-hitter into the sixth against San Francisco on Sept. 3 and finished with eight innings of one-hit ball.

The Diamondbacks were eliminated from the NL wild-card race after last night’s 9-7 loss to the Cardinals. NL Central-leading St. Louis is on a six-game winning streak.

The Cardinals lead 1-0.

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