June 16, 1965 – Luis Tiant One-Hitter
On this Wednesday night in 1965, second-year pitcher Luis Tiant was matched up with Phil Ortega and a forgettable Washington Senators lineup.
Tiant had been called up from AAA Portland halfway through the 1964 season after throwing a no-hitter and a one-hitter consecutively for the Beavers. In the big leagues he had shown flashes of brilliance, but was mostly overshadowed by his friend from the Indians farm system, Sam McDowell.
Against the Senators (the version that became the Texas Rangers) Tiant pitched brilliantly, working 1-2-3 innings in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 8th innings. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second after hitting the leadoff hitter Frank Howard with a pitch. Joe Cunningham reached on an fielding error by Indians second baseman Pedro Gonzales. With Cunningham at second and Howard on third, Tiant intentionally walked Ed Brinkman to get to the pitcher Phil Ortega. He struck out Ortega and escaped with the 0-0 tie intact.
In the bottom of the 4th, Leon Wagner came through with some run support when he rocked a three-run home over the Municipal Stadium wall.
Tiant gave up the only Senator hit of the game to Woodie Held–a single to lead off the top of the 7th. He would then help out his own cause, sending Leon Wagner home with an RBI single in the bottom of the 8th.
Luis pitched the rest of the 1965 season with some persistent soreness in his arm and finished with an 11-11 record. By 1968, he led the American League with a 1.60 ERA and hits per 9 innings with 5.3. He was selected as an All-Star in 1968 and would have two more All-Star seasons with Boston later in his career.