Carlos Rodon was a toe away from perfection. Instead, he settled for a brilliant no-hitter.
He was perfect for 8 1/3 innings before hitting Roberto Perez in the foot.
Rodon came inches from losing the no-hitter entirely after eight perfect innings. Josh Naylor hit a ground ball to first base and slid headfirst into the bag, but Jose Abreu lunged forward and narrowly clipped the base moments before Naylor touched it. The call was confirmed after video review.
It was the culmination of a remarkable comeback for Rodon. The former third overall pick underwent major shoulder and elbow surgeries in recent years and was non-tendered by the White Sox in December. Wednesday's start was just his 11th since 2018.
"It's a pretty special moment. Not many people can say they threw a no-hitter in Major League Baseball," Rodon said postgame, according to Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald. "Baseball's pretty humbling. It'll eat you, spit you out, and sometimes it will reward you."
Rodon struck out seven batters on 114 pitches (75 strikes), garnering 14 swings-and-misses and allowing just five fly-ball outs. He's the sixth pitcher to finish his no-hitter a hit-by-pitch shy of perfection, joining Hooks Wiltse (1908), Lew Burdette (1960), Kevin Brown (1997), Max Scherzer (2015), and Joe Musgrove on Friday.
The 28-year-old also became the first American League pitcher to win his first two starts of a season while allowing no more than two hits, according to Stats By Stats.
Rodon's no-hitter is the 20th in White Sox history, the most of any AL franchise; only the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have more. For the Indians, this marked the 12th time they've been no-hit and the first since 2012.
Thanks to Perez's toe, there have still only been 23 perfect games in MLB history, with the most recent one belonging to Felix Hernandez in 2012. The White Sox have three perfect games, tied for the most with the New York Yankees.