Wacha loses no-hit bid in 9th, Cardinals beat Pirates 5-0

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha is congratulated by teammates after being removed during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sunday, June 3, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) Michael Wacha came close, again.

The St. Louis righty lost a no-hit bid in the ninth inning for the second time in his career, denied when pinch-hitter Colin Moran led off with a single Sunday in the Cardinals‘ 5-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

”It’s just a slight disappointment because I wanted it,” Wacha said. ”I’ve flirted with it a couple times. It just didn’t happen. Maybe next time.”

”I was trying to get a changeup down and away,” he said. ”It ended up being middle-middle, just leaving it up in the zone. I gave him something he can handle.”

As a rookie in 2013, Wacha was one out away from a no-hitter when Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman got an infield single.

Wacha (7-1) came close to pitching the fourth no-hitter in the major leagues this season. He was in total control, striking out eight and walking two while mixing his fastball, curve and change.

Bud Smith was the last St. Louis pitcher to throw a no-hitter, doing it as a rookie in 2001 at San Diego. The last Cardinals pitcher to toss a no-hitter at home was Bob Forsch in 1983 against Montreal.

Wacha retired the first 13 batters, and the closest the Pirates had come to a hit was Josh Bell’s flyout to the warning track in the second inning until the ninth.

St. Louis catcher Francisco Pena appeared more disappointed than Wacha at missing a shot at history.

”By the sixth inning, I was thinking about it, I’m not going to lie,” Pena said. ”I knew he could do it too because his pitches were working really well today.”

Moran fouled…