The Minnesota Twins are a Major League Baseballfranchise based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the American League Central division. Also known in their early years as the "Washington Senators" (1901–60) based in Washington, D.C., pitchers for the Twins have thrown seven no-hitters in franchise history. A no-hitter is officially recognized by Major League Baseball only "when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings", though one or more batters "may reach base via a walk, an error, a hit by pitch, a passed ball or wild pitch on strike three, or catcher's interference". No-hitters of less than nine complete innings were previously recognized by the league as official; however, several rule alterations in 1991 changed the rule to its current form. A no-hitter is rare enough that one team in Major League Baseball has never had a pitcher accomplish the feat.[a] A perfect game, a special subcategory of no-hitter, has yet to be thrown in Twins history. As defined by Major League Baseball, "in a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game."
Walter Johnson threw the first no-hitter in Senators/Twins history on July 1, 1920; the most recent no-hitter was thrown by Francisco Liriano on May 3, 2011. Four left-handed pitchers have thrown no-hitters in franchise history while three were by right-handers. The longest interval between no-hitters was between the games pitched by Bobby Burke and Jack Kralick, encompassing 31 years and 8 days from August 8, 1931 to August 26, 1962. Conversely, the shortest interval between no-hitters was between the games pitched by Kralick and Dean Chance, encompassing 4 years and 364 days from August 26, 1962 to August 25, 1967. They no-hit the Boston Red Sox the most, which occurred twice, which were no-hit by Johnson in 1920 and Burke in 1931. There is one no-hitter in which the team allowed at least a run, thrown by Chance in 1967. The most baserunners allowed in a no-hitter were by Chance (in 1967) and Liriano (in 2011), who each allowed six. Four no-hitters were thrown at home, and three were thrown on the road. They threw one in April, one in May, one in July, three in August, and one in September. Of the seven no-hitters, three have been won by a score of 1–0, more common than any other results. The largest margin of victory in a no-hitter was a 7–0 win by Eric Milton in 1999. The smallest margin of victory in a Twins no-hitter came in 1–0 wins – by Johnson in 1920, Kralick in 1962, and Liriano in 2011 – and a 2–1 win by Chance in 1967.
The umpire is also an integral part of any no-hitter. The task of the umpire in a baseball game is to make any decision "which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out… [the umpire's judgment on such matters] is final." Part of the duties of the umpire making calls at home plate includes defining the strike zone, which "is defined as that area over homeplate(sic) the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap." These calls define every baseball game and are therefore integral to the completion of any no-hitter. A different umpire presided over each of the franchise's seven no-hitters.
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