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Astros’ Javier, bullpen combine to no-hit Yanks in 3-0 win

Astros’ Javier, bullpen combine to no-hit Yanks in 3-0 win

NEW YORK – Cristian Javier kept sending the New York Yankees back to their dugout in short order, taming his often inconsistent control and thwarting the team with baseball’s best record, most runs and preeminent power.

“We call him `The Reptile,’ because he doesn’t show any emotion. It doesn’t matter how big the stage,” Houston catcher Martin Maldonado would later say.

The Astros’ cold-blooded starter combined with Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly on the first no-hitter against the Yankees in 19 years, pitching Houston to an improbable 3-0 victory Saturday. It’s the first time New York has been no-hit since six Astros teamed up for one at the old stadium on June 11, 2003.

New York entered 52-19, at .732 the best winning percentage ever for a team held hitless at least 50 games into a season. The previous high was Oakland’s .691 against Texas on June 11, 1990, when the Athletics were felled by Nolan Ryan’s sixth no-hitter.

“The cold, hard truth is we got outpitched and outplayed,” Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole said. “Magical day for them.”

Javier (5-3), a 25-year-old right-hander without a complete game in 84 professional starts, was in the rotation because Jake Odorizzi is hurt. He set career highs for strikeouts (13) and pitches (115) while walking one, and he matched his longest start with seven innings. Javier lowered his ERA to 2.73.

He walked Josh Donaldson on a full-count fastball with two outs in the first, then retired 17 in a row until Donaldson reached when third baseman Alex Bregman threw past first for an error on a one-out grounder in the seventh. Stanton took a called third strike and Gleyber Torres struck out swinging.

By the sixth, the Astros adopted the superstitious dugout custom for a no-hit bid.

“The guys didn’t come near me, and I didn’t go near them,” Javier said through a translator.

Javier began the seventh at 91 pitches. Astros manager Dusty Baker turned to pitching coach Bill Murphy early in the inning.

“Man, I…

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