Combo special: Mariners fire no-no vs. Dodgers

After Millwood leaves injured, five relievers blank NL West leaders

June 8th, 2012

SEATTLE -- Kevin Millwood saw his bid for a second no-hitter end after six innings due to a mild right groin strain, but five relievers picked up the torch as the Mariners combined to throw a no-hitter in a 1-0 win over the Dodgers on Friday night.

Millwood breezed through the first six frames in front of 22,028. Three innings from etching his name in the records books again, Millwood exited after throwing just one warm-up pitch prior to the seventh.

Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen kept the no-hitter intact. It is the 10th combined no-hitter in Major League history and first since the Astros did it in 2003.

"I'm excited, I'm excited for all these guys who came into the game out of the bullpen," Millwood said. "I guess it's a little bit more exciting for those guys when they can be a part of it. I wasn't very happy when I came out of the game, and it took me a couple innings to get a little excited about it, but those guys got all the tough outs.

"The first six is what it is. I've seen a lot of people do that. From seven, eight, nine, those guys got all those outs. That was special to see."

Pryor was credited with the win, the first of his Major League career, despite throwing just one-third of an inning. The hard-throwing right-hander ended the seventh with a strikeout, but he exited after walking the first two batters of the eighth.

"It feels good. I wish I contributed a little better, but I'm happy the team did well," Pryor said.

Millwood didn't allow a baserunner until he walked Juan Rivera to lead off the fifth inning, but the veteran responded by quickly erasing him on a double play. That was Millwood's only free pass of the night, as he struck out six, throwing just 68 pitches. Millwood threw a no-hitter while with the Phillies on April 27, 2003, against the Giants in Philadelphia.

"I'm not sure," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly when asked how Millwood was so effective. "He was getting us out, though, that's for sure. He pitched like that against us last year with Colorado. I don't remember us doing much with him either. We really didn't hit anything hard tonight."

It was one of the softest hit balls that almost broke up the no-hit bid, though. Dee Gordon led off the ninth with soft grounder off Wilhelmsen to shortstop. Brendan Ryan, who entered the game as a defensive replacement, charged and made an off-balance throw to beat Gordon by a hair.

With one out, Wilhelmsen got Elian Herrera to line out to Ryan, and then the righty induced an inning-ending groundout of Andre Either to set off a celebration in the infield.

The Mariners' offense was stifled as well, though. They finally broke through with a two-out rally in the seventh. Ichiro Suzuki started things with a single -- his third of the game -- and stole second. When Dustin Ackley drew a walk, Seattle had runners on first and second. Kyle Seager followed by hitting a line drive that deflected off a leaping Gordon at shortstop, scoring Ichiro from second.

Seattle ran into trouble in the eighth after Pryor allowed back-to-back walks to lead off the inning. Luetge came on to face the left-handed-hitting James Loney, who successfully bunted the runners up a base.

League, who lost his closer's role last month, promptly snuffed out the rally. A.J. Ellis hit a flare to left field, but Chone Figgins, who entered as a defensive replacement, ran it down and fired home to prevent a run from scoring. League then needed just four pitches to strike out Tony Gwynn Jr. to end the inning.

While Millwood was quickly moving through the Dodgers' lineup, his counterpart was doing the same. Nathan Eovaldi didn't allow a hit until Ichiro singled to open the third, but the hard-throwing righty stranded him, in what would become a pattern. Eovaldi allowed five hits and two walks over six innings, but he did not allow a run as he was able to wiggle out of any trouble he found himself in.

The Mariners did just enough, though, to break through on the offensive end, and collectively got the job done defensively as the Dodgers were no-hit for the 11th time in team history.

"When you win a 1-0 ballgame in that fashion, so many different people have to step up, defensively and on the mound," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said, "and that's what you saw tonight."