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Mariners used exactly half their 12-man pitching staff on Friday in tossing the 10th combined no-hitter in Major League history.
The effort was led by 37-year-old veteran Kevin Millwood, who tossed six innings. Charlie Furbush followed it up with two-thirds of an inning and Stephen Pryor tossed one-third of an inning, in the process earning his first Major League victory despite walking a pair of batters and exiting with them on base.
Lucas Luetge relieved Pryor and retired the only batter he faced on a sac bunt, then Brandon League kept it going by retiring back-to-back hitters to finish the eighth. Tom Wilhelmsen, the Mariners' newly appointed closer, shut the door in the ninth, finishing out the third no-hitter in team history. The margin couldn't have been slimmer throughout, with the Mariners beating the Dodgers, 1-0.
"I just tried to remain calm and execute my pitches and we got it done," Wilhelmsen said. "We are just meshing so well right now, and everyone was so into it."
All six pitchers combined to surrender only three walks, while striking out nine on 114 pitches, 71 of which were strikes.
Seattle's combined no-hitter marked the first since June 11, 2003, when the Houston Astros stopped the Yankees, 8-0. That team also used six pitchers: Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner.
However, the last time it was done in the American League was over 20 years ago. Using four pitchers on July 13, 1991, the Baltimore Orioles beat the Oakland A's, 2-0. In that game, Bob Milacki pitched six innings, while Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson all tossed one inning.
The first combined no-hitter involved Babe Ruth on June 23, 1917, as a member of the Boston Red Sox. In that game against Washingtion, in which Ruth recorded no outs, Ernie Shore tossed nine innings.
With the AL notching another combined no-hitter on Friday, it now has seven, while the Senior Circuit sits at three.
The Mariners were part of another combined no-no, when they were shut down by Mark Langston and Mike Witt of the Angels on April 11, 1990, in a 1-0 loss.
This time around, the Mariners were happy to be on the other side of history.
"That was unbelievable. I've never been apart of anything like this in my life," said third baseman Kyle Seager, who had the game's only RBI. "It is crazy and exciting all at the same time."