Ryan Yarbrough was blissfully unaware of his role in a potentially historic performance until the Tampa Bay Rays lefthander was deep into the finest outing of his baseball career.
After taking over for Ryne Stanek in the third inning Sunday, Yarbrough was poised to be part of the major leagues' first combined perfect game.
"I was so locked in, not until I went out there in the eighth to warm up and I heard a kid yell, 'Don't blow it,' did I realize what the situation was," Yarbrough said.
Baltimore's Hanser Alberto beat the shift with a leadoff opposite-field single in the ninth inning, wrecking history in the making and taking some of the edge off Tampa Bay's 4-1 victory.
Yarbrough was literally unhittable — until the ninth.
"That would have been cool, but I can't get upset about the hit against the shift," Yarbrough said. "It has helped me so much in the past."
Tampa Bay's try for the combo perfecto came two days after two Los Angeles Angels pitchers teamed up for a no-hitter while wearing the jerseys of late teammate Tyler Skaggs.
The bid for perfection ended when the righthanded hitting Alberto pushed a grounder to the vacated right side. Stevie Wilkerson followed with a single, and an RBI single by Anthony Santander broke up the shutout.
Detroit 12, Kansas City 8: Jeimer Candelario hit a bases-clearing double and Gordon Beckham added a two-run homer during a seven-run Tigers third inning in Kansas City, Mo.
New York 4, Toronto 2: Masahiro Tanaka pitched six strong innings and won for the first time since June 17.
Houston 12, Texas 4: Justin Verlander followed a two-run first inning with five no-hit innings and Jose Altuve hit the Astros' franchise-record ninth grand slam in Arlington, Texas.
Oakland 3, Chicago 2: Chad Pinder scored all the way from first base on White Sox shortstop Jose Rondon's throwing error in the ninth inning, and the host A's completed a sweep.
Los Angeles 6, Seattle 3: Matt Thaiss' tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Angels after Mike Trout left the game after two innings because of right calf tightness.
Philadelphia 4, Washington 3: Maikel Franco's home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning enabled the host Phillies to avoid a sweep.
New York 6, Miami 2: A day after hitting a go-ahead homer in the eighth, Robinson Cano had four hits and another home run for the visiting Mets.
St. Louis 5, Arizona 2: Paul Goldschmidt homered in support of Adam Wainwright's seven scoreless innings in St. Louis.
Chicago 8, Pittsburgh 3: Home runs by Jason Heyward, Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber helped the host Cubs finish a sweep.
Atlanta 4, San Diego 1: Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and Mike Soroka won his 10th straight decision.
San Francisco 8, Milwaukee 3: Tyler Beede pitched effectively into the seventh inning and drove in the go-ahead run for the visiting Giants.
Colorado 10, Cincinnati 9: Ryan McMahon had three hits and three RBI in fueling two big innings for the host Rockies.
Los Angeles 7, Boston 4 (12): Max Muncy walked to force in the go-ahead run, Alex Verdugo singled to knock in the first insurance run and second scored on a fielder's choice as the Dodgers beat the host Red Sox.
• The Red Sox placed knuckleballer Steven Wright on the injured list because of a bruised right foot a day after he was hit with a line drive by the Dodgers' Max Muncy.