A short history of winning with one hit

May, 22, 2014
May 22
12:30
PM ET
We had an odd result Wednesday night at Tampa Bay: The A's got one hit but beat the Rays 3-2. Oakland scored two runs in the second inning without a hit thanks to a pair of errors and a pair of walks. Oakland's lone hit was Brandon Moss' solo home run in the fourth.

As ESPN Stats & Information reported, the A's are now 1-82 all time when getting one hit.

"It's not the easiest way to win a baseball game," Moss said, "but it's better than getting one-hit and losing."

This leads to my twisted mind asking: How often does this happen? A quick search on the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index reveals that a team has won 64 times since 1914 when being one-hit. So, as you would imagine, not very often. Broken down by decade:

2010s: 5
2000s: 6
1990s: 7
1980s: 7
1970s: 6
1960s: 5
1950s: 6
1940s: 2
1930s: 4
1920s: 0
1910s: 16

By score:

1-0: 32 times
2-1: 17 times
3-2: 7 times
2-0: 4 times
3-1: 3 times
4-2: 1 time

You would guess the most common score would be 1-0, and indeed that is the case. Anyway, let's look at a few of the more interesting games:
  • July 20, 2013: Mariners 4, Astros 2. This is fun: Erik Bedard started Wednesday night and started this game, the only time a team scored four runs while being one-hit and won the game. The Mariners would strike out 15 times but scored twice in the sixth on two walks, a passed ball, a sacrifice fly and another passed ball. They scored twice more in the seventh on two walks and Michael Saunders' two-run double off Jose Cisnero.
  • April 20, 2010, and Sept. 14, 2010: The Giants lost two of these games in one season, to the Padres and Dodgers. In April, Jonathan Sanchez lost 1-0 to Mat Latos, the run coming on a base hit, stolen base, foul pop (runner advancing) and sac fly. In September, Barry Zito lost to Clayton Kershaw, the run coming in the sixth inning on a hit batter, two walks and an error.
  • April 27, 2002: Mariners 1, Yankees 0. Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the eighth, but after a walk and wild pitch, Desi Relaford hit an RBI single for the game's only run.
  • April 13, 1996: Royals 3, Brewers 2. You might expect a knuckleballer to turn up here, and Charlie Hough did have one of these games as well. Steve Sparks gave up just the one hit, but it was a three-run homer by Michael Tucker in the fifth inning, following walks to Bob Hamelin and Joe Vitiello. (Yes, I just wanted to mention Bob Hamelin and Joe Vitiello.)
  • Oct. 9, 1974: A's 2, Orioles 1. This is one of two postseason games to make the list. In Game 4 of the ALCS, Orioles pitchers walked 11 batters (Mike Cuellar walked nine). The only hit was Reggie Jackson's RBI double in the seventh off Ross Grimsley.
  • Sept. 9, 1965: Dodgers 1, Cubs 0. Bob Hendley fired a masterful one-hitter for the Cubs, the only run coming in the fifth inning on a walk, sacrifice, stolen base and error when the catcher threw the ball into left field. Oh, this also happened to be the night Sandy Koufax pitched a perfect game with 14 strikeouts. Here's Vin Scully poetically calling the final three outs.
  • May 15, 1965: Dodgers 3, Cubs 1. Yes, same teams, same year. Dick Ellsworth had carried a no-hitter into the eighth. Jeff Torborg reached on an error by Ron Santo. Dick Tracewski bunted but was safe on a fielder's choice when the Cubs failed to get the lead runner. After a sacrifice, Al Ferrara pinch hit and belted a three-run homer.
  • May 26, 1959: Braves 1, Pirates 0. In one of the most famous games in history, Harvey Haddix took a perfect game into the bottom of the 13th. Felix Mantilla reached on a throwing error by third baseman Don Hoak. After a sacrifice bunt, Hank Aaron was intentionally walked. Joe Adcock, who had nearly ended Haddix's career five years earlier with a line drive that struck Haddix in the knee, hit a slider for a three-run homer, except Aaron thought the ball had bounded off the fence and headed to the dugout. When Adcock passed Aaron, it became a double and thus the final 1-0 score. Lew Burdette pitched all 13 innings for Milwaukee. Burdette called Haddix in the Pirates' clubhouse. "You deserved to win," he said, "but I scattered all my hits and you bunched your one."
  • Oct. 3, 1947: Dodgers 3, Yankees 2. In Game 4 of the World Series, Bill Bevens took a 2-1 lead and a no-hitter into the bottom of the ninth. He had already walked eight batters. He got a fly ball, walked Carl Furillo and then got a foul out. Al Gionfriddo ran for Furillo and stole second. Pete Reiser was intentionally walked, bringing up pinch hitter Cookie Lavagetto. He hit a double off the right-field wall -- the final hit of his career -- and the Dodgers won (although the Yankees would win Game 7).

  • Sept. 18, 1934: Red Sox 2, Browns 1. Bobo Newsom had allowed a run earlier but had a no-hitter until two outs in the 10th inning. He lost the no-hitter and the game.

David Schoenfield | email

SweetSpot blogger

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.