Astros toss two immaculate innings ... against the same batters!

Phil Maton and Luis Garcia
The Astros' Luis Garcia and Phil Maton each threw an immaculate inning against the Rangers on Wednesday.

Call it the "Immaculate Collection."

The Houston Astros became the first team in Major League Baseball history to throw two immaculate innings - where a pitcher gets three strikeouts in an inning on the minimum nine pitches - in the same game.

And it was against the same three batters both times!

It was the 105th and 106th immaculate innings in MLB history, but the first to be thrown on the same calendar day, let alone in the same game by the same team against the same hitters. 

But that's what the Astros did in their 9-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, with a pair of three-up, three-down, three-strikeout, nine-pitch sequences.

Luis Garcia struck out Nathanial Lowe swinging for the first out of the bottom of the second inning. He then fanned Ezequiel Duran on three pitches. Brad Miller then went down swinging on Garcia's ninth pitch of the frame for the first immaculate inning of the game.  

"It's a great achievement," said the 25-year-old Garcia. "I did it in spring training last year, but this counted. So, I'm glad for that."

Phil Maton relieved Garcia to start the bottom of the seventh and followed in his predecessor's immaculate footsteps. The 29-year-old struck out Lowe swinging, Duran looking and Miller swinging.


"I mean, it's super cool," Maton said. "It's not something like you go out there every day and obviously strive to do. But, I mean, obviously you're trying to strike every hitter out you face. I don't know, still kind of trying to wrap my head around it. But, yeah, super cool experience."

Astros catcher Martin Maldonado said he was aware Garcia was in the midst of an immaculate inning but did not realize Maton had also thrown one until he threw the ball away after the inning was over. 

"Everyone was going, 'I need the ball! I need the ball!'" said Maldonado, who went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs in the win. "To be a part of that, every time you make history, I think that's something that any player, you are proud of. I'm glad I was the catcher in that situation."  

Baseball always offers the opportunity to witness something never seen before. Even for 73-year-old Dusty Baker, the Astros manager who seemingly had seen it all since making his major league debut in 1968. 

"Boy, same guys, I guess we struck them out back-to-back-to-back with nine pitches each time," Baker said. "I don't think I've ever seen that. So, it was a good day for us."

Garcia picked up the win, striking out nine and allowing one earned run over six innings. Maton worked just one inning, throwing all fastballs and finishing with all strikes on his pitch count. 

"I became aware after the second one," Maton said. "I was starting to get a little anxious because [Maldonado] kept calling fastballs. But, ultimately I just kind of stuck with his game plan in that situation of the game and just kept throwing them."

That led to the Astros doing something has never been done before by tossing two immaculate innings and something that likely will never be done again by striking out the same three hitters in each.

"That feels so good because it's history," Garcia said. "So, I'm so happy for me and for Phil."