Corey Kluber throws a no-hitter in the Yankees' 2-0 win over the Rangers on Wednesday night in Arlington, Texas.
ARLINGTON, Texas — In the year of the no-hitter, add Corey Kluber to the list.
The Yankees signed the right-hander off two injury-plagued seasons with the hope he’d be able to rediscover the form he displayed when he was one of the best pitchers in the game and on Wednesday, Kluber more than lived up to that expectation in a 2-0 win over the Rangers in front of 31,689 at Globe Life Field.
Kluber was dominant from the star, striking out the first two batters he faced and retiring the first seven before Charlie Culberson worked a walk with one out in the third.
That was the only base runner allowed by Kluber, who faced just one batter over the minimum and struck out nine for his first career no-hitter.
With the victory, the sixth no-hitter in the majors already this season, the 35-year-old Kluber improved to 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA.
After struggling with his control for much of his first four starts, Kluber had been much improved over his next four outings — including eight scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts against the Tigers on May 2.
But none of it compared to Wednesday, as Kluber barely had a ball hit hard off him all night.
Adolis Garcia ripped a liner to center with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, but Brett Gardner had no trouble tracking it down.
In the bottom of the first, Luke Voit made a solid play on a Nate Lowe grounder to first to end the inning.
Gio Urshela made a nice stop of Khris Davis’ hard smash to third for the second out in the bottom of the eighth.
Beyond that, Kluber cruised, becoming the first Yankee to throw a no-hitter since David Cone threw a perfect game on July 18, 1999 against Montreal in The Bronx.
With Aroldis Chapman warming in the bullpen just in case, Kluber finished it in the ninth by getting Culberson to ground to second, pinch-hitter David Dahl to fly to right, where Wade made a nice running catch near the line and Willie Calhoun to ground out.
For most of the first five innings, his counterpart was nearly as effective.
Left-hander Hyeon-Jong Yang gave up just two hits and was helped out by three double plays in the first five innings.
The 33-year-old rookie from South Korea pitched beyond the fifth inning for the first time in the majors and the Yankees got to him in the sixth.
A leadoff walk by Kyle Higashioka was followed by a booming triple to right-center from Tyler Wade.
Wade, in the game after right fielder Ryan LaMarre suffered a right leg injury in the third inning, came up for the first time in the sixth and delivered.
Up 1-0, DJ LeMahieu knocked in Wade with a sacrifice fly to left to make it 2-0.
Voit followed with a walk — the Yankees’ fourth of the game — to end Yang’s night after 74 pitches. Brett Martin came in and struck out Aaron Judge and Urshela to end the inning.
The Yankees, who came into the game already leading the majors in double plays, grounded into four more and lined into another on Wednesday.
On this night, none of that mattered.
The Texas crowd, which already had a considerably pro-Yankee bent, was fully on Kluber’s side by the seventh inning.
Kluber pitched for the Rangers last season, but lasted just one inning before being sidelined by a shoulder sprain.
After working throughout the offseason with the Yankees’ director of player health and performance Eric Cressey, Kluber signed with the Yankees on a one-year, $11 million deal in January.
Kluber won’t fully be able to repay the Yankees’ risk on him until October, but on Wednesday, he took a huge step.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin