Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Detroit's Armando Galarraga was one out away from the third perfect game of 2010 and the second in less than a week, but a blown call by first base umpire Jim Joyce cost him immortality.
After retiring the first 26 batters in succession, Indians shortstop Jason Donald was called safe on an ground ball to first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Replays showed that Galarraga clearly beat Donald to the bag while receiving Cabrera's toss, but Joyce made an emphatic safe call, to the dismay of the entire Tigers team and the fans at Comerica Park.
Despite the call, Galarraga finished with the first complete game and first shutout of his career -- a one-hitter -- as the Tigers beat the Indians, 3-0, in the second of three games.
"That's the nature of the business, that's just the way it is. The players are human, the umpires are human, the managers are human, the writers are human," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We all make mistakes. It's a crying shame. Jimmy's a real good umpire, has been for a long time. He probably got it wrong."
Following the play and immediately after the game, Leyland and most of the Tigers players -- most notably Cabrera -- were yelling furiously at Joyce. The crowd vociferously booed him, realizing the call on the field was incorrect.
Cabrera's solo shot in the second inning was all Detroit needed to post its eighth home win over Cleveland in the last nine tries. Galarraga (2-1) needed only 88 pitches in the masterpiece, nearly the Tigers' first perfect game in the team's illustrious history.
Joyce has been a major league umpire since 1987 and is one of the most senior umps in the game today. He was on the field for Nolan Ryan's 5,000th strikeout and Robin Yount's 3,000th hit and has worked two World Series, three league championship series and six division series, although he has not appeared in a playoff game since 2006.
It marked the 10th time in baseball history that a perfect game bid ended on the 27th batter. The last time it happened was when Boston's Carl Everett singled with two strikes off the Yankees' Mike Mussina on September 2, 2001.
It also wasn't the first time an umpire controversy cost a pitcher the perfect game on what would have been the final batter. On September 2, 1972, umpire Bruce Froemming called ball four on a borderline 3-2 pitch to San Diego's Larry Stahl, costing Chicago Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas a shot at history.
Galarraga was bidding for the third perfect game of 2010 and the first since last Saturday's masterpiece by Philadelphia's Roy Halladay. Oakland's Dallas Braden also accomplished the feat on May 9 against theTampa Bay Rays. No single season has ever seen three perfect games, and only 1880 ever saw multiple perfect games before this season.
The Indians, meanwhile, avoided being on the wrong end of a perfect game for the first time in team history. Cleveland has notched a hit in every game since the Yankees' Jim Abbott no-hit the Tribe on September 4, 1993.
Galarraga was denied the Tigers' seventh no-hitter in team history and first since Justin Verlander did it against Milwaukee on June 12, 2007.
Lost in all the controversy was a solid start by Cleveland's Fausto Carmona (4-4), who pitched a complete game (eight innings) and allowed three runs -- two earned -- on nine hits while striking out three without walking a batter.
Galarraga's bid nearly came to an end at the start of the ninth inning on a hit ball by the Indians' Mark Grudzielanek. Grudzielanek blasted the first pitch he saw into the left-center field gap, and center fielder Austin Jackson made a tremendous running catch to preserve the no-hitter.
Cleveland hit into 14 groundouts while striking out only three times. The three strikeouts would have tied a record for least amount of strikeouts in a perfect game -- the same amount as the Cleveland Naps' Addie Joss in 1908.
Detroit's other runs came in the eighth, when Jackson and Johnny Damon hit back-to-back two-out singles.Magglio Ordonez followed with a base hit to score Jackson, and Damon raced home on a throwing error by right fielder Shin- Soo Choo.
Ironically enough, Joyce was working second base during Braden's perfect game...Detroit leads the season series, 5-2...The Indians fell to 5-19 this season when they commit at least one error...Cabrera has 12 homers in 43 games against the Indians since joining the Tigers in 2008...Galarraga lowered his season earned run average to 2.57...Cabrera's home run was his 15th of the season and fifth in his last six games.