for this game

Schilling tosses one-hitter as Red Sox edge Athletics

Jun 8, 2007 - 12:21 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Curt Schilling just missed out on a date with history, but he still helped the Boston Red Sox end their longest skid of the season.

Schilling tossed his third career one-hitter Thursday afternoon to lead the Red Sox to a 1-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

It was a brilliant day for Schilling (6-2), who carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning and retired the first two batters in the frame before Shannon Stewart lined a first-pitch fastball just past diving Joey Cora at second base to spoil Schilling's attempt at his first-career no-hitter.

"It was a 1-0 game, and you have a no-hitter going into the ninth, you try and get the no-hitter," Schilling said. "I was trying to make pitches. We got two outs and I was sure of it. I had it planned. I shook 'tek' (Jason Varitek) off, and now I get to think 'what if' for the rest of my life. It was a good win though."

"It was a fastball away," Stewart said. "He was throwing away the whole game. The first at-bat and second at-bat I thought I hit it pretty good. The third at-bat he had me pretty confused, so on the last at-bat I was looking away and was able to shoot it through."

Stewart was glad he could save his teammate from being no-hit.

"You never want to get no-hit," Stewart said. "The bottom line though is that we lost the game. You go out there to win games, and if you break up a no-hitter the result is that you still lost the game. Nobody's happy about that. We won three games in a row off them, and he stopped the sweep. You have to give him a lot of credit"

The 40-year-old Schilling shook off his disappointment and retired Mark Ellis on a popout to second base to end the contest and snap Boston's season-high four-game skid.

"I'm not disappointed. We needed a win today above everything else. It was very easy to stay focused on that. Taking a no-hitter into the seventh, eighth, and ninth, was a by product of the game plan, but the focus was to win the game."

Schilling struck out four and did not walk a batter, throwing 71 of 100 pitches for strikes. Oakland did not manage a baserunner against Schilling until the fifth, when Dan Johnson reached on a fielding error by shortstop Julio Lugo.

Schilling was vying for the 17th no-hitter in Red Sox franchise history and the first since Derek Lowe accomplished the feat against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on April 27, 2002.

"I think everyone on this team was excited for him," said Boston catcher Jason Varitek, who caught Lowe's no-hitter in 2002. "We were even more excited to come away with a win though, which is what we needed. It was nice for Curt to bounce back and give us a performance like he did today."

Chicago White Sox lefthander Mark Buehrle is the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the majors this season, achieving the remarkable accomplishment against the Texas Rangers on April 18.

Schilling's brilliant performance overshadowed an equally impressive outing from Oakland starter Joe Blanton (5-4), who yielded just one run, four hits and three walks with two strikeouts in 7 1/3 frames.

Blanton's only mistake came in the top of the first inning, when Red Sox slugger David Ortiz crushed a solo home run to account for the game's only run.

"It happens," said Blanton who pitched a three-hit shutout in his last start against Minnesota. "Last game I pitched it happened to the other pitcher. Maybe this was payback."

It was the 11th homer this season for Ortiz, who blasted Blanton's 3-2 offering with two outs in the opening frame.

"First inning, 3-2 count, I just tried to throw a changeup for a strike," Blanton said. "I threw it down the middle. I didn't sound like he got it, but he's a big strong guy and got enough of it to send it out. It was the first inning and I challenged him, and it payed off for him."

"We only had that one chance," Varitek said. "Blanton pitched real well against us, but Curt pitched a little bit better."