Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills reacts after throwing a no hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Morry Gash/Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — From college walk-on to major league starter, Chicago Cubs right-hander Alec Mills had to earn most every break he got.

On the brink of big league history, he was happy to welcome this bit of luck: expecting to see two-time batting champion Christian Yelich in the on-deck circle, Mills looked over and saw his backup instead.

“That kind of surprised me,” he said.

This one surprised just about everyone.

Mills cruised through baseball’s second no-hitter this season in just the 15th start of his career, completing the gem in a 12-0 romp over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

Mills got Jace Peterson — who replaced Yelich, the 2018 NL MVP, on defense late in the blowout — to hit a routine grounder to shortstop Javier Baez with two outs in the ninth. Baez completed the play, and the Cubs swarmed around Mills, tearing off his cap and pulling at the smiling right-hander’s uniform after his first career complete game.

“It just hasn’t really hit me yet,” the 28-year-old said. “It’s kind of crazy, I didn’t even know how to celebrate. Just something that all came together today. Obviously a memory I’ll have forever.”

Mills (5-3) threw 114 pitches and hardly had any close calls in Chicago’s 16th no-hitter. Avisail Garcia almost got to him twice, hitting a line drive to right in the first and nearly legging out an infield hit to shortstop in the sixth. Garcia crossed first and immediately called to the Brewers dugout for a review, but after a very brief stoppage, the Brewers opted not to challenge.

Mills would have faced Garcia again in the ninth, but Milwaukee Manager Craig Counsell pulled the 2017 All-Star along with Yelich in the eighth with his team trailing big. Mills struck out Garcia’s replacement, Tyrone Taylor, for the second out in the ninth.

“Taylor hitting there and then Peterson, I had no idea they were in the game,” Mills said.

Mills struck out five and walked three. His five strikeouts are the fewest in a Cubs no-hitter since Ken Holtzman in 1969. He only induced five swings and misses, tied with Oakland’s Dallas Braden during his perfect game in 2010 for fewest in a no-hitter since at least 1988, per Stats Inc.

“I can promise you it was not a slow heartbeat,” Mills said. “I had to kind of take a seat and calm myself down. It was tough. I had to take a lot of deep breaths and get into a good mindset.”

Chicago White Sox ace Lucas Giolito threw baseball’s other no-hitter this season against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 15.

Mills was a 22nd-round draft pick by Kansas City in 2012 and had Tommy John surgery in 2013. He had started just six major league games prior to this season but cracked Chicago’s rotation because of an injury to Jose Quintana.

He went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his first two starts, struggled in his next five but pitched solidly Tuesday against the Reds with six shutout innings. The no-hitter dropped his ERA to 3.93.

BRAVES 8, NATIONALS 4: Adam Duvall and Ozzie Albies each hit a two-run homer off a laboring Max Scherzer, and Atlanta rallied in Washington.

Kyle Wright pitched six innings for his first major league win, helping Atlanta take three of four from Washington.

YANKEES 3, ORIOLES 1: Gleyber Torres had tiebreaking, two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning for his first career pinch hit, lifting the Yankees over Baltimore for a four-game sweep in New York.

Torres, given the day off from the starting lineup, is hitting .320 (8 for 25) with seven RBI since returning from the injured list. He feasts on the Orioles, raising his average against them to .358 with 16 homers and 34 RBIs in 37 games. His drive off left-hander Tanner Scott went to the warning track in right-center and followed two-out singles by Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier off Dillon Tate (1-1). Frazier, who hit cleanup for the 16th straight game, reached on a grounder to the right side when Tate, covering first, missed the first base.

PADRES SWEEP GIANTS: Jurickson Profar hit a go-ahead RBI single in the fifth inning and the San Diego Padres won their seventh straight game, 3-1 against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday to sweep a doubleheader forced because of a false positive COVID-19 test.

In the first game, Mike Clevinger threw a two-hitter for his second career shutout and the Padres won 6-0. Greg Garcia and Wil Myers each had a two-out, two-run single off Johnny Cueto (2-1).

The Padres have won 11 of 13 games. They entered the day three games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. With the playoffs expanded in the pandemic-shortened season, the Padres are in firm control of second place as they close in on their first postseason berth since 2006.

San Francisco said Sunday that outfielder Alex Dickerson received news of a positive test result for the novel coronavirus minutes before he was set to play against his hometown team on Friday night. Dickerson was pulled off the field and placed in isolation at Petco Park, and games Friday and Saturday nights were postponed.

Major League Baseball and the players’ union said Sunday morning that it was determined to be a false positive.

WHITE SOX 5, TIGERS 2: Eloy Jiménez homered, Yoán Moncada had three hits and Chicago beat visiting Detroit  for its fourth straight win.

AL Central-leading Chicago tuned up for a big series against Minnesota with its ninth consecutive victory against Detroit. The second-place Twins visit the Windy City on Monday for the opener of a four-game set.

TWINS 7, INDIANS 5: Nelson Cruz hit his 16th homer, and Minnesota beat Cleveland to complete a sweep of their weekend series in Minneapolis.

RANGERS 6, ATHLETICS 3: Texas ace Lance Lynn struck out a season-high 10 in seven innings, Rougned Odor hit a tiebreaking three-run homer and the last-place Rangers beat AL West-leading Oakland in Arlington, Texas.

NOTES

REDS: Pitcher Sonny Gray was placed on the 10-day injured list by the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday because a strain in the right side of his mid-back, a move retroactive to Friday.

Gray allowed five runs, six hits and three walks over 3 1/3 innings at the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

He is 5-3 with a 3.94 ERA in nine starts but has allowed 11 runs in his last two outings after giving up just nine earned runs in 41 2/3 innings over his first seven.


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