In 1959, the Pirates' Harvey Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings but lost after finally allowing a hit in the bottom of the 13th. On some level, Jesse Hernandez can relate.
The Blue Jays prospect took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Tuesday in Fort Wayne, but the run he gave up in the first proved costly as the Class A Lansing Lugnuts were blanked by the TinCaps, 1-0.
Hernandez (4-4) ended up allowing one run on one hit and a walk, tying a season high with eight strikeouts in his Midwest League-leading second complete game.
"It's tough," he admitted. "[The offense] does a good job every night and tonight was just a rough one. They've picked me up in the past and I have all the faith in the world in them."
Facing the first batter in the bottom of the first, Hernandez walked Jace Peterson, who stole second. One out later, A wild pitch moved Peterson to third and Casey McElroy lifted a sacrifice fly to give Fort Wayne a quick lead.
"I'm pretty happy with the overall line, but I made a few mistakes early on that ended up costing me the game," Hernandez said. "Early in the game, you have to go right at hitters. Leadoff walks will hurt you and we saw that today."
The 23-year-old right-hander cruised until the eighth, when Travis Whitmore broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single. Hernandez struck out the next batter, then induced a double play to wrap up his completing his tough-luck outing.
The Central Michigan University product said his second straight loss was just one of those things that happen in baseball.
"Tomorrow's a new game, you just get after it, go out and take the next five days like you would any other," he said.
Signed by the Blue Jays as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, Hernandez dropped his ERA to 2.29, which ranks eighth in the league. He's recorded 52 strikeouts against 14 walks over 78 2/3 innings, tied for tops in the circuit.
Frank Garces and James Needy combined to outduel Hernandez. Garces (2-4) gave up two hits and issued a pair of walks while striking out six over five innings. Needy finished up, fanning five for his first save of the season.
Chris Hawkins delivered a pair of singles and Carlos Perez had the other hit for Lansing, which clinched the first-half Eastern Division title last week.