Palm Beach's Corrigan tosses perfect game

Right-hander Chris Corrigan threw the first perfect game in Palm Beach Cardinals team history on Wednesday night, guided by a coach who once threw one himself. We have photos!

The Palm Beach Cardinals may not make the 2012 Florida State League playoffs, but the club will have a final week to remember forever.

Chris Corrigan made team history Wednesday night when he threw a perfect game for the Cardinals. The 24-year-old right-hander set down all 27 Charlotte Stone Crabs batters in order.

The location was Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla. 1,422 paid fans were in attendance. The facility is the home field for the Stone Crabs as well as the Spring Training base of the parent Tampa Bay Rays.

Corrigan fanned nine Stone Crabs and faced just 10 different hitters. Charlotte sent a pinch-hitter up as the second batter in the ninth. Corrigan finished the gem with a swinging strikeout by number nine hitter, shortstop Robi Estrada.

The Cardinals offense gave Corrigan room by scoring two in the second and another in the third. They added five late runs in the 8-0 win. Centerfielder James Ramsey doubled twice, scored one and plated one. Third baseman Alan Ahmady singled, doubled and homered and drove in four.

Wednesday marked an up in a season with both ups and downs for Corrigan.

Corrigan had been promoted from Palm Beach to Double-A Springfield on May 21. Setting that up was one of his early season highlights, a one-hit outing over six innings against Charlotte on May 3.

One June 12, that transaction was reversed, however, when he was returned to the Florida State League. In his first taste of the Texas League, Corrigan was touched for three runs in 3 2/3 innings and was scored upon in two of his four Springfield outings, all out of the bullpen.

His fortunes were not much better upon his return to the FSL. Until last week, Corrigan hadn't won a game since June, going 1-7, including four straight defeats over his last July outings and first three in August.

Last time out was an improvement, though, as he allowed one run on six hits over five innings on August 22. He defeated that same Charlotte club, with the game at home in Jupiter.

In Wednesday's perfect game, Corrigan improved his record to 4-8 and lowered his FSL ERA to 4.02. It was not only his first career complete game; it was his first time pitching beyond six innings.

Corrigan, the Cardinals' 30th-round pick in the 2009 draft from Ole Miss, threw the first perfect game and second no-hitter in Palm Beach history. Tyler Lyons pitched the first, a seven-inning no-hitter last August. Prior to Wednesday, the last perfect game in the FSL occurred in 2001. Corrigan's perfecto was the sixth in league history.

It seemed especially appropriate that Palm Beach pitching coach Dennis Martinez was there to guide Corrigan. After all, he had done it himself on the big stage. On July 28, 1991, Martínez pitched the 13th perfect game in MLB history when he led the Montreal Expos over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Link to boxscore: Palm Beach 8, Charlotte 0

Thanks to the generosity of Stone Crabs team photographer Nick Martinez, you can see some of the highlights of Corrigan's gem right here.

Total mound concentration

Ready to deliver

Following through

Late-game offering

Celebrating the final out

A team milestone

The Cardinals celebrate

Pitching coach "El Presidente" (white jersey) adds his best

The pitcher and the proof

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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