ATLANTA (AP) — Spencer Strider sensed it could be a special night once he got through the fourth inning without issuing a walk.
He didn’t know he would soon be flirting with a perfect game and then a no-hitter.
“It started to become aware to me that I had a chance to go deep in the game, if nothing else, pretty early on and I felt like each inning I could get going from the first pitch on,” he said. “I didn’t fall behind 2-0 a lot to the first hitter.”
Strider took a no-hitter into the eighth and struck out a season-high 13 as the Atlanta Braves snapped a four-game skid Monday, hitting five home runs in an 11-0 victory over the Miami Marlins.
Fans booed when Jean Segura singled to left field to end Strider’s no-hit bid with one out in the eighth, and Jon Berti followed with a single. But the right-hander fanned the next two batters to finish his dominant outing with a flourish.
“Segura is a really good out-of-the-zone hitter, so you don’t really know where to throw it,” Strider said. “I probably should’ve thrown it over the backstop. He couldn’t have reached it. He’s got pretty good hand-eye coordination. At least I didn’t hang him a slider.”
Strider had a perfect game going until Gold Glove first baseman Matt Olson made a fielding error on a leadoff grounder by Jazz Chisholm Jr. in the seventh.
“He didn’t have any stressful innings,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He was flowing. It was just so smooth, and the ball was coming out really hot, too.”
Sam Hilliard homered twice, and Sean Murphy, Eddie Rosario and Austin Riley also connected as the Braves avoided their first five-game losing streak since September 2017, when they ended the season with six straight defeats.
Strider (3-0) threw 81 of his 101 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to 1.80. He was runner-up in NL Rookie of the Year voting last season to teammate Michael Harris II.
Strider needed just 69 pitches to retire his first 18 batters — 10 on strikeouts. His night ended with Garrett Hampson swinging and missing at a 97 mph fastball in the eighth. Strider left the mound to a standing ovation and tipped his cap as he strolled to the dugout.
“When you have stuff like that, it’s tough to get up there and try to put a good swing on him,” said Murphy, the Braves’ catcher. “He’s special. He proved it again tonight. He was great.”
Murphy’s sixth homer of the season sailed 430 feet to left-center to make it 1-0 in the third. Hilliard’s first of the night, a two-run shot to center, put Atlanta up 3-0 in the fourth.
Rosario connected for a two-run shot to make it 5-0 in the fifth. Hilliard and Riley homered in the sixth for an 8-0 advantage.
Ozzie Albies tripled with the bases loaded in the eighth to pad the lead to 11-0.
Strider has struck out at least nine in nine straight starts dating to last Sept. 1. It’s the longest active streak in the majors and the longest in franchise history, one better than Hall of Famer John Smoltz. The longest streak in major league history belongs to Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan with 11.
Strider didn’t issue a walk for the first time in five starts this season and routinely hit the high 90s (mph) with his fastball — though his slider was equally effective. He has 49 strikeouts to lead the majors, six more than Texas ace Jacob deGrom.
“I was getting nervous for a minute there that he was going to go the distance and no-hit us because we didn’t put too many good swings on him,” Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. “But Segura broke it up a little bit there and obviously Berti but a really, really good job by Strider today.”
Miami had won six of eight overall but fell to 17-38 in Atlanta since Truist Park opened in 2017.
Edward Cabrera (1-2) allowed four hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Braves DH Marcell Ozuna went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts as his batting average dropped to .078. He was booed every time he headed back to the dugout. Ozuna has been the target of fans since he got arrested for DUI last year and arrested for domestic violence the year before.
Marlins: 2B Luis Arráez was held out of the lineup for the second straight day with a bruised left knee. Schumaker said Arráez fouled a ball off his knee and is day-to-day. … RHP Johnny Cueto, out with right biceps tightness, will throw three innings at extended spring training on Wednesday. … SS Joey Wendle hit off a pitching machine and participated in the pregame workout. Wendle has been on the injured list since April 4 with a right intercostal strain.
Braves: Harris, sidelined since April 7 with a lower back strain, ran on the field and took live batting practice against closer Raisel Iglesias. Harris said afterward that he felt good. Snitker said Harris will begin a rehab assignment soon but didn’t specify a date. … Iglesias has been out since spring training with a right shoulder strain and has no immediate timetable for a return. … Snitker said RHP Collin McHugh (shoulder inflammation) will be activated from the injured list on Tuesday.
Braves RHP Charlie Morton (2-2, 3.22 ERA) will face RHP Bryan Hoeing (0-0, 0.00) when the teams play the second of a four-game series Tuesday. Hoeing will make his second career start.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports