Canadian pitcher James Paxton no-hits Blue Jays

Mariners Paxton has no-hitter through 8

Mariners Paxton has no-hitter through 8

The quiet kid born and raised in Ladner, B.C., who admittedly misses his home country every day and whose left arm seems to have been touched by a lightning bolt, threw his gem Tuesday night in his home country against the Toronto Blue Jays - the team that originally drafted him out of college but failed to sign him over a bonus dispute.

Oakland's Sean Manaea had thrown the first solo no-hitter of the year last month while the Los Angeles Dodgers threw a combined no-hitter last Friday against the San Diego Padres.

Consider that, entering Tuesday's action, the league as a whole was hitting just.244 this season. Dick Fowler is the other, but that came all the way back in 1945 as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics.

His only blemish that prevented a ideal game was the three walks he issued to go along with seven strikeouts.

Russell Martin led off the Toronto eighth with a long drive that left fielder Ben Gamel caught near the wall. "It's a special thing for me, having not lived in Canada for the past 10 years, it just reminds me of home", said Paxton after the win. "I went 1.1 innings and gave up nine earned runs". It was cool. I mean, what a defense tonight.

The final batter of the game was Josh Donaldson. As strikeouts go up, contact has gone down: According to FanGraphs, the league's swinging-strike rate of 10.7% is the highest on record since 2002, when that stat was first tracked, narrowly edging out last year's previous champion of 10.5. After he and his teammates entered the dugout, Paxton returned to the field and waved at the remaining fans.

"Very special", Paxton said of his inclusion to that select pairing. "I really respect their cheers after the game and supporting me". And then I kind of forgot about it a little bit, I was just trying to get ahead of guys and stick with my game plan. He instead played in an independent league, was drafted by the Mariners in the fourth round the next year and joined them.

All of that adds up to a game where the ball gets put in play less and less, making outings like Paxton's that much more possible.

The best part of this no-hitter for Mariners manager Scott Servais was that he never had to sweat Paxton's pitch count.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Paxton's was only the seventh no-hitter thrown outside the US and the British Columbia native is only the second Canadian to throw a no-hitter, emulating a feat first achieved in 1945 by Dick Fowler of the Philadelphia Athletics.

It was the first no-hitter against the Blue Jays since Detroit's Justin Verlander did it in Toronto on May 7, 2011. Six outs away, the eighth inning, we had those balls hit very hard, right at people.

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