Drew Rasmussen came three outs away from making history Sunday.
The Tampa Bay Rays pitcher mowed down the Baltimore Orioles through eight perfect innings. However, he lost his perfect-game bid when Jorge Mateo began the final frame with a double.
Mateo scored on a wild pitch before the Rays removed Rasmussen with 87 pitches. Jason Adam recorded the final two outs to secure the 4-1 victory at Tropicana Field.
Bally Sports showed the 27-year-old righty exiting the game to a standing ovation from the home crowd.
As noted by Ben Verlander, nobody has thrown a perfect game since Felix Hernandez completed MLB's 23rd perfecto almost exactly a decade ago.
According to Neil Solondz, Rasmussen came further than any Rays pitcher ever has.
ESPN Stats & Info also highlighted his impeccable efficiency. Manager Kevin Cash didn't need to make the difficult decision of pulling his starter early.
Rasmussen even earned an "awesome baby" from college basketball guru and Tampa Bay resident Dick Vitale.
Rasmussen came short of a perfect game, but he improved his ERA to 2.80 with his seventh win of the season.
The victory also increased Tampa Bay's lead for the AL's final wild-card spot to 1.5 games over Baltimore and the Minnesota Twins.