One thought kept crossing A.J. Burnett's mind as he made his dramatic push for a no-hitter.
He wanted it -- badly.
Instead, he will have to settle for a close call and maybe the best performance of his career.
Burnett pitched a one-hitter as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the host Chicago Cubs 5-0 on Tuesday night. He said started thinking about a no-hitter in the third or fourth inning.
"I'm not going to lie," he said. "So, it's one of those things that you want to do, you want to take pride in, but at the same time a lot of luck's got to go into it. I had a lot of great plays behind me. ... Bottom line is it's a 'W' for us."
His bid for a second career no-hitter with two outs in the eighth. He had already hit Darwin Barney in the helmet with one out before striking out Luis Valbuena, but his no-hit bid ended at the hands of a rookie when pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas lined a 3-2 pitch to right for a single after two close pitches were called balls.
Burnett said he was angry about a 2-2 curve that just missed outside, and he appeared to be yelling at the umpire after the hit. But he struck out David DeJesus with runners on first and third to end the inning. That's probably not much consolation for the veteran, who pitched a wild no-hitter for the Marlins against San Diego on May 12, 2001. He walked nine in that game, two in this one while striking out eight.
"I always think about it," he said. "I want to clean that one up. That was a wild one."
The Cubs have not been the victims of a no-hitter since September 1965, when Sandy Koufax pitched one for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The last no-hitter at Wrigley Field came when Milt Pappas pitched one for Chicago against San Diego in September 1972.
Rangers: Right-hander Neftali Feliz will undergo Tommy John surgery Wednesday. Feliz was 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in eight games, including seven starts. He has been on the disabled list since May, when he was diagnosed with a ligament sprain in his elbow.
White Sox: Left-hander John Danks is done for the season because of a left-shoulder strain. He is scheduled to have exploratory surgery Monday to find out what has caused the injury to linger for months.
Red Sox: Outfielder Ryan Sweeney is expected to miss the rest of the season after fracturing the knuckle of his left pinkie when he punched a door.
Sweeney was hurt Monday night when he punched the door after returning to the dugout following a groundout.