TORONTO — Canadian James Paxton pitched nine no-hit innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night, lifting the Seattle Mariners to a 5-0 victory.
Paxton (2-1) struck out seven and walked three batters in a 99-pitch masterpiece. He raised both arms in the air after the final out — a ground ball to third base from Josh Donaldson — before his teammates mobbed him on the mound.
The crowd of 20,513 gave Paxton a rousing standing ovation.
Paxton, a six-foot-four left-hander from Ladner, was coming off a Canadian record-setting 16-strikeout performance in his last start, a no-decision against Oakland.
Paxton is the first Canadian in 73 years to throw a no-hitter. Toronto-born Dick Fowler threw one for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1945 in his first start in three years after serving for the Canadian army in the Second World War.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 9, 2018
Mike Zunino homered for the Mariners (20-14) and Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Mitch Haniger also drove in runs.
Marcus Stroman (0-5) allowed five runs and nine hits over five innings. He also walked two and struck out a pair as Toronto dropped to 19-17 on the season.
Paxton cruised through most of the game, with two walks in the third inning his only real blemish. It was the only time the Blue Jays had a runner past first base.
Paxton received some defensive help to keep his no-hit bid in tact in the seventh inning when third baseman Kyle Seager dove for a sharply hit ball from Kevin Pillar before snapping back up to his feet and making the throw to first for the final out of the frame.
Left-fielder Ben Gamel helped out by catching a deep fly ball at the warning track for the first out of the eighth. Centre-fielder Dee Gordon got the second out, a sharply hit line drive to centre field.
Cano gave Seattle a 1-0 lead in the third inning, driving in Gamel from third base with a groundout. Gamel had reached on a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a Gordon double. Cruz doubled the lead with a single to plate Gordon.
The Mariners got to Stroman again in the fourth, extending their lead to 4-0 with Zunino’s two-run homer to right field.
Stroman allowed three straight singles to start the fifth inning before Haniger’s sac fly cashed in Cano, giving Seattle a 5-0 lead and getting Toronto’s bullpen up and warming. Stroman finished the inning on a force out and fly ball and was replaced by left-hander Tim Mayza in the sixth.
NOTES: Attendance was 20,513. … Paxton was selected out of the University of Kentucky by the Blue Jays in the first round (37th overall) of the 2009 draft but chose not to sign with the team. … The Blue Jays placed shortstop Aledmys Diaz on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to Monday) with a left ankle sprain. Infielder Richard Urena was recalled from triple-A. … Sebastian Toutant, the Pyeongchang Olympic gold medallist in snowboard big air, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to fellow Canadian and Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey.
Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press