Angels minor league team throws no-hitter, still loses

The Los Angeles Angels' Double-A affiliate threw a no-hitter Saturday. That's typically a feat worth celebrating, but it was overshadowed by one key factor — they lost the game. Even worse, all of their opponent's runs came with just one out left in the game. 

The Rocket City Trash Pandas, based in Madison, Alabama, have been the Angels' Double-A affiliate since 2020. They opened their 2023 season this weekend with a series against the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Cincinnati Reds' affiliate. On Saturday the teams played a doubleheader to make up for a rainout the previous day.  

The Trash Pandas started the game dominantly, with starting pitcher and Angels No. 21 prospect Coleman Crow tossing six shutout innings with six strikeouts. A three-run homerun from Trash Pandas second baseman Kyren Paris accounted for the only runs of the game until the seventh inning. Then the wheels came off. 

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Here's how Chattanooga managed to score seven runs without recording a single hit:

  • Walk
  • Walk
  • Pop Out
  • Walk
  • Strikeout
  • Walk, run scores (1)
  • Center fielder Jeremiah Jackson misses a fly ball, three runs score (4), batter reaches second
  • Hit by pitch
  • Hit by pitch
  • Hit by pitch, run scores (5)
  • Walk, run scores (6)
  • Wild pitch, run scores (7), runners advance
  • Walk
  • Strikeout, inning over

The Lookouts' Twitter account broke it down even better:

The Trash Pandas threatened a comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring two runs, but ultimately came up short. Doubleheaders in Minor League Baseball are only seven innings, and the Trash Pandas fell 7-5.

While a team losing a game in which they didn't allow a hit sounds rare, it's happened more times than one may think. In fact, it's happened 10 times in Minor League Baseball before, going back to 2005, with the last coming at the Rookie Ball level last year, when the FCL Nationals lost to the FCL Cardinals 4-3 in 10 innings.

And if Angels fans want to feel better, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Double-A affiliate the Tulsa Drillers lost in their own no-hitter just two years ago. They lost 1-0 in 10 innings to the Arkansas Travelers on April 14, 2019.

The Trash Pandas would come back to win 3-0 in game two of the doubleheader Saturday, allowing just one hit.