OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Domingo Germán of the New York Yankees pitched the 24th perfect game in major league history Wednesday night, retiring every Oakland batter in an 11-0 victory over the Athletics.
It was the first perfect game since Seattle Mariners ace Félix Hernández threw one against the Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 15, 2012. There were three that season — but none since until Germán finished the first no-hitter in the big leagues this year.
He joined Don Larsen (1956), David Wells (1998) and David Cone (1999) as Yankees pitchers to throw perfect games. Larsen’s gem came in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"So exciting," Germán said through a translator. "When you think about something very unique in baseball, not many people have an opportunity to pitch a perfect game. To accomplish something like this in my career is something that I’m going to remember forever."
Coming off a pair of terrible starts, Germán (5-5) struck out nine of 27 batters against the A’s, who have the worst record in the majors.
The 30-year-old right-hander, a seven-year veteran, had never thrown a complete game in the big leagues. He served a 10-game suspension in May after getting ejected from a game in Toronto for using an illegal sticky substance on the mound.
Winless in six previous outings against Oakland, Germán threw 72 of 99 pitches for strikes. He mixed 51 curveballs and 30 fastballs that averaged 92.5 mph with 17 changeups and one sinker.
With the crowd of 12,479 on its feet for the ninth inning, Germán finished what he started. He got Aledmys Díaz to ground out before Shea Lanegeliers flied out to short center field. When Esteury Ruiz grounded out to third baseman Josh Donaldson to end it, the Yankees’ dugout and bullpen emptied as Germán’s teammates raced out to the mound to celebrate.
"That last inning was very different — very different. I felt an amount of pressure that I’ve never felt before," Germán said. "I’m trying to visualize what I want to execute there. At the same time, I don’t want to miss. So much pressure, but yet so rewarding.
"The key there was not to overthrow," he added. "I was feeling the pressure in that inning but at the same time I wanted to not overthrow, keep that same focus from the first inning, understand the lanes of attack we were using during the game and keep executing."
Six days after allowing a career-high 10 runs (eight earned) and four homers over 3 1/3 innings in a loss to the Mariners at home, Germán got his 500th career strikeout and was the definition of perfection.
It was the 13th no-hitter in Yankees history, including Larsen’s perfect game in the World Series. Corey Kluber pitched their previous no-hitter against the Texas Rangers on May 19, 2021.
Seth Brown came the closest to reaching base for the A’s, hitting a sharp grounder in the fifth to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who made a diving stop and tossed to Germán for the out.
Giancarlo Stanton homered for the first time in more than two weeks and drove in three runs, and Donaldson added three RBIs against his former team to help the Yankees to their 15th win in 21 games against the A’s since Aug. 31, 2019.
Stanton crushed a 422-foot homer on a first-pitch fastball from former Yankees pitcher JP Sears (1-6) in the fourth. The ball was hit so hard that Ruiz in center field and Brown in right didn’t move but just turned their heads and watched it sail out to left-center.
Stanton added a two-run single off Shintaro Fujinami in the fifth when the Yankees scored six runs and benefited from two errors by the A’s.
Kyle Higashioka had an RBI double, then scored when Anthony Volpe reached on an infield single and Sears flipped the ball wildly into foul territory. Volpe took second on the error, stole third then scored on DJ LeMahieu’s single. A’s first baseman Ryan Noda also had a fielding error that allowed to reach.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who walked leading off the inning and scored, capped the uprising with a two-out RBI single.
But the night belonged to Germán, who was loudly cheered as the game unfolded. Many fans in Oakland were decked out in Yankees colors or jerseys.
"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," 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."