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'Chooch' provides constant support behind plate

Veteran joins elite company by catching third no-hitter with Phillies

'Chooch' provides constant support behind plate play video for 'Chooch' provides constant support behind plate

ATLANTA -- Carlos Ruiz should be getting used to this.

Ruiz caught the third no-hitter of his career on Monday afternoon in a 7-0 victory over the Braves at Turner Field, although this was the first without former Phillies ace Roy Halladay, who threw a regular-season perfect game and a postseason no-hitter in 2010. Ruiz caught four pitchers Monday in the combined effort: Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon.

"Yeah, man," Ruiz said, when asked if it felt like the other two. "When they took Cole out, I was like, 'Oh, now I have to do it with the bullpen guys.' I asked Scott [Sheridan], the trainer, 'Who's coming up?' He told me, 'Diekman.' That's when I felt like, 'OK, we still have a chance,' because his velocity and when he throws strikes, he can get people out.

"He did his job. Then they said, 'Giles.' Oh man, we're real close. He struck out those three guys. And then Papelbon, he was trying to pitch it like a save situation."

Ruiz is one of 13 catchers in baseball history to catch three no-hitters. Jason Varitek holds the Major League record with four: Hideo Nomo in 2001, Derek Lowe in '02, Clay Buchholz in '07 and Jon Lester in '08.

"I give the credit to those guys," Ruiz said of the four pitchers he caught Monday. "They hit their spots. Cole struggled in the first inning, but he came back."

Diekman struck out two in a perfect seventh inning. Giles struck out the side in a dominant eighth. And Papelbon threw a perfect ninth.

"It was a big day for them," Ruiz said. "They showed they're ready for this level. That's a good experience for them. I'm real happy for them."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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