Left-hander Dallas Braden became the second Oakland A's pitcher and 19th in Major League Baseball history to pitch a perfect game Sunday, retiring 27 consecutive batters in beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 Sunday.
Braden threw his arms in the air after Gabe Kapler grounded out to shortstop Cliff Pennington for the final out.
"It's without a doubt a team effort," said Braden. "You got eight guys out there chasing balls and knocking balls down for me. So this is ours, not just mine, this is ours."
Braden, who had never even pitched a complete game in 42 major-league starts, threw 109 pitches — 77 strikes — in becoming the first man to throw a perfect game for Oakland since Hall of Famer Jim ``Catfish'' Hunter beat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 on May 8, 1968, at the Coliseum during the team's first year in Oakland.
A crowd of 12,228 witnessed Braden's feat compared to just 6,298 for Hunter's perfect game.
The closest ball to a hit was the first batter. Tampa's Jason Bartlett led off the game with a line drive behind third base that was snared by Kevin Kouzmanoff. Braden had six strikeouts.
Braden's teammates mobbed him when the Mother's Day masterpiece was over, leaving bats and gloves scattered on the field. The left-hander pointed to the sky in honor of his mom, Jodie Atwood, who died of cancer when he was a high school senior. He shared a long and tearful hug with his grandma, Peggie Lindsey, the woman who raised him, in front of the dugout.
"It hasn't been a joyous day for me in a while," Braden said. "With my Grandma in the stands it makes it a lot better."
Braden's perfect game was the first since Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox tossed a perfect game against Tampa Bay on July 23, 2009. It was the second no-hitter this season after Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez threw one in Atlanta against the Braves on April 17.
Before Sunday, the crafty lefty had made more of a name for himself for his enraged reaction to Alex Rodriguez walking across the mound back on April 22, when he beat Yankees ace CC Sabathia.
The squabble was still making news leading up this start, and they were going back and forth in recent days. On Friday in Boston, A-Rod said he didn't want "to extend his extra 15 minutes of fame."
Rodriguez struck a far more conciliatory tone Sunday.
"I've learned in my career that it's always better to be remembered for some of the good things you do on the field, and good for him," Rodriguez said before facing Boston. "He threw a perfect game. And, even better, he beat the Rays."
Braden insisted Friday that was all history — then two days later he made his own history. It was his first career complete game, no less.
Last Mother's Day, Braden was hit by a line drive by Vernon Wells.
"You know, a year later you don't expect anything like this," he said. "I'm just happy to be putting on the costume a year later."
Associated Press contributed to this report