PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Manny Machado, Nelson Cruz and the San Diego Padres expect to be big bashers in the batter’s box this season.
On Friday night, they were a big bunch of nothing.
Chicago Cubs starter Justin Steele and six relievers combined on baseball’s first spring training no-hitter since 2017, blanking the Padres 4-0.
The Cubs said they believed it was the first spring training no-hitter in their history.
Machado, Cruz and Jake Cronenworth were among the Padres in the starting lineup. Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts and Fernando Tatis Jr. got the night off.
“It’s a spring training game, but it never feels good to get no-hit,” Padres manager Bob Melvin told reporters. “We’re not going to go home with a smile on our face.”
Steele went two innings.
“Their lineup is going to be really good this year,” he told reporters.
Javier Assad followed with two innings. Brad Boxberger, Adbert Alzolay, Jeremiah Estrada, Cam Sanders and Nick Burdi followed with an inning apiece. The Cubs claimed Burdi off waivers from the Padres in December.
Cubs pitchers combined to strike out seven and walk five.
Working with the new pitch clock rules, Chicago completed the combined no-no in 2 hours, 14 minutes. There were handshakes all around by the Cubs after it ended.
It was the first spring training no-hitter since the Angels did it to Seattle on March 24, 2017, according to ESPN Stats & Info.