Astros' Mike Fiers denies illegal substance on glove during no-hitter

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

One day after throwing a 134-pitch no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros right-hander Mike Fiers denied he had an illegal substance on his glove during the 3-0 win, shooting down speculation that began when photos on social media that zoomed in on the glove appeared to show a shiny substance.

"I mean, you can try to pick out a lot of things through a lot of games," Fiers said Saturday. "I don't know what they are talking about. It could be a different lighting or camera angle or a lot of things. I don't know."

Fiers said he had not been contacted by Major League Baseball.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch defended his pitcher.

"Last night was about Mike Fiers being a really good major league pitcher, and he had a great accomplishment," Hinch said. "Anything that takes away from that is unfortunate, unless there's this massive proof."

Both Hinch and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said they did not see anything on Fiers' glove during the game. Mattingly said the practice of using something to help grip the baseball isn't uncommon.

"I think if you talk about stuff like that, it seems like you're whining," Mattingly said. "I think a lot of guys use it. It's kind of accepted unless it's just blatantly obvious that somebody's doing it. I had no idea during the game; nobody said anything to us."

Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford, who said he "really didn't care if [Fiers] was cheating or not," noted that he figured the practice was normal.

"I know when I was back in Tampa, I used to see pitchers putting stuff on balls all the time," Crawford said. "I don't know how many guys around the league are doing it, but on my team, I used to see them doing stuff all the time, so I just figured it was normal. I'd just be like, 'Yo, I'm going to tell on you if I ever got to face you,' just joking around, but I just figure it's not that big of a deal.

"I don't know if it's an advantage. You still have to throw the ball over the plate, but at the same time, there's a reason why they do it and they know they're going to get in trouble for it and they still do it."

It is against MLB rules to use a foreign substance on the ball during games. Michael Pineda of the New York Yankees was suspended 10 games last season for using pine tar against the Boston Red Sox.

Fiers, acquired with star outfielder Carlos Gomez by the AL West-leading Astros fromMilwaukeeat last month's trade deadline, had never thrown a complete game in 58 starts overfive seasons before blanking the top team in the NL West.

ESPN Dodgers reporter Mark Saxon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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