Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Halladay delivers a pitch during the second inning of a baseball game against the Florida Marlins, Saturday, May 29, 2010, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) By Wilfredo Lee
Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Halladay delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Florida Marlins, Saturday, May 29, 2010, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) By Wilfredo Lee
MIAMI (AP) -- Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in major league history, delivering the marquee performance of his All-Star career in a 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins on Saturday night.
It was the second perfect game in the majors this month alone, Dallas Braden doing it for Oakland against Tampa Bay on May 9. It's the first time in the modern era that there were a pair of perfectos in the same season -- Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez threw a no-hitter, too, in April.
Halladay struck out 11, then got pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino to ground out to end it, and was cheered by a crowd of 25,086 throughout much of the night. While there were a couple of good plays behind him, Halladay didn't need any great defensive work in this gem.
The 33-year-old righty was a veritable one-man show.
Always stoic on the mound, Halladay (7-3) broke into a big smile as his teammates rushed in to congratulate him.
Halladay has long been dominant, and the former AL Cy Young winner was the centerpiece of a multiteam trade that brought him from Toronto to the two-time NL champions in the offseason.
He was within one out of a no-hitter on Sept. 27, 1998, in just his second major league start, pitching for the Blue Jays against Detroit. Pinch-hitter Bobby Higginson ended that on the first pitch he saw, hitting a solo home run.
Halladay faced three Marlins pinch-hitters in the ninth. Mike Lamb led off with a long fly ball that was caught on the center-field warning track, Wes Helms struck out looking and Paulino hit a grounder that backup third baseman Juan Castro ranged to his left to get.
It was the Phillies' second perfect game, with Jim Bunning having thrown one in 1964.
On the short list of baseball's perfect games, there are the first two: John Richmond and John Ward pitched them five days apart in 1880, two decades before what is considered the modern era.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)