Iwakuma no-hits O's, tosses 5th in Mariners history
SEATTLE -- Hisashi Iwakuma tossed the fifth no-hitter in Mariners history in a 3-0 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday at Safeco Field, becoming just the second Japanese pitcher (Hideo Nomo was the first) in Major League history to throw a no-no.
In the process of throwing his first career no-hitter, it was also the first complete game of Iwakuma's career. Iwakuma fanned seven and walked only three batters in tossing the first American League no-hitter since his teammate, Felix Hernandez, threw a perfect game against the Rays on Aug. 15, 2012.
"When I was young, when I first signed, I said to myself, 'One day, it would be nice to throw a no-hitter,'" Iwakuma said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. "Today I'm very happy I accomplished it, but it was just taking one hitter at a time to become true." More >
The other no-hitters in Seattle history are: Randy Johnson against the Tigers on June 2, 1990; Chris Bosio against the Red Sox on April 22, 1993; and a combined six-pitcher no-hitter against the Dodgers on June 8, 2012. More >
Iwakuma's no-hitter was the fourth in the Majors this season, following the Giants' Chris Heston (June 9), the Nationals' Max Scherzer (June 20) and the Phillies' Cole Hamels (July 25).
The Orioles' Kevin Gausman struck out a career-high eight hitters on a season-high 113 pitches while allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings. The loss was Gausman's fourth in his past six starts.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Seager's smooth play: In the ninth inning, O's left fielder David Lough popped a 92-mph fastball from Iwakuma foul to the third-base side. Kyle Seager looked like he initially didn't have a chance to make the play, but he made an over-the-shoulder grab just before reaching the seats to give Iwakuma the first out of the inning.
"In that situation, you're not letting it get down if you can," Seager said. "Oh, man, [Iwakuma] was phenomenal. He was so good that I'm answering these questions on a foul ball. That's how good he was today." More >
Double trouble: The Mariners notched doubles in each of the first two innings, but in both cases, they stranded a runner on second. In the third, they made the Orioles pay with a double as Franklin Gutierrez found the left-center-field gap with two outs to score Ketel Marte for Seattle's first run of the game. Robinson Cano singled to left five pitches later to drive in Gutierrez and give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
Gausman sets personal best: The young O's right-hander struck out the side in the first inning and two more Mariners in the second, setting the tone for his career high in punchouts. Gausman tied his previous personal mark of seven by fanning Mark Trumbo in the fourth inning, and he got Brad Miller looking on the next at-bat to establish his new best.
"Oh, come on! When it went up in the air, in that situation -- hopefully any situation -- that ball doesn't touch the ground." -- Mariners center fielder Austin Jackson, on whether he thought the last out of the game would drop
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Before Wednesday, the past 12 no-hitters in the Major Leagues were thrown by National League pitchers. Hernandez's perfect game on Aug. 15, 2012, was the last no-hitter by an American League pitcher.
Orioles: Baltimore is off on Thursday before heading home to Camden Yards for a Friday series opener against the A's at 7:05 p.m. ET. Ubaldo Jimenez (9-7, 3.79 ERA) will take the hill for the Orioles against A's righty Jesse Chavez. Jimenez is coming off his best start of the year, a win over the Angels in Anaheim in which he threw eight scoreless innings and gave up only two hits.
Mariners: The Mariners send Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.25 ERA) to the mound to open a three-game series with the Red Sox on Friday at 4:10 p.m. PT at Fenway Park. Montgomery is winless in his past six starts and lasted just four innings in a loss to the Rangers on Friday, walking at least four hitters for the third time in his past four starts.
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