Kyle Freeland’s no-hit bid ends in ninth vs. White Sox

DENVER — The White Sox’ dugout exulted.

The Sunday-afternoon crowd of 36,541 at Coors Field groaned.

And rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland’s shoulders drooped as 32-year-old veteran Melky Cabrera took a leisurely stroll toward first base after ending Freeland’s no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning of the Sox’ 10-0 loss. Cabrera then applauded Freeland from first base.

As moral victories go, this one meant a little something to the Sox, who stumble into the All-Star break having lost two of three to the Rockies and four of five overall. They have a 25-40 record since a 13-9 start.

Starting pitcher Kyle Freeland #31 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Coors Field on July 9, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 700011578

To end the “first half” being no-hit would’ve been tough to take, even for a rebuilding team wondering what’s in store trade-wise in the coming weeks.

“We would never like that,’’ Cabrera said. “Thank God I was able to get a hit.

“I went to the plate to get a good pitch to hit. You have to give a lot of credit to the pitcher. He was locating everything.’’

Attempting to pitch the second no-hitter in Rockies history (Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010), the second in Coors Field history (Hideo Nomo for the Dodgers in 1996) and the first against the Sox since 2011 (Francisco Liriano), Freeland, a 24-year-old who grew up in Denver, struck out nine and walked three.

Cabrera singled on his 126th pitch, and manager Bud Black immediately removed Freeland (9-7, 3.77 ERA) in favor of Jordan Lyles. Freeland waved his cap to the fans.

Cabrera’s line drive carried over third baseman Nolan Arenado’s reach. Before that, Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra raced in and made a diving catch of Yolmer Sanchez’s soft liner leading off the eighth to keep it going before Freeland struck out Omar Narvaez and Willy Garcia for the second and third outs of that inning.

Freeland struck out Adam Engel leading off the ninth before Cabrera connected.

Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.32 ERA) allowed six runs and five hits and struck out four in 5„ innings in his third start. He gave up a home run to Charlie Blackmon.

“Not much of anything was working,’’ Rodon said. “Kind of inconsistent in and out of the zone. The slider wasn’t there, but I tried to make things happen. They make you pay.’’

Freeland commanded his cutter well on the inside part of the plate.

“His fastball just cuts in on guys,’’ Rodon said. “Everything was in on righties. It’s nasty, it’s good. He threw well today.’’

“It was incredible,’’ Freeland said of the close call. “The fans were great, and it was a good team win going into the break.’’

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