Kevin Millwood may not have been around to finish what he started, but the Seattle Mariners bullpen more than picked up the slack on Friday as the squad combined to pitch the third no-hitter in club history.
Using six pitchers probably won't be on the agenda again today, however, as the Mariners entertain the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second of a three-game interleague set at Safeco Field.
Millwood, who threw a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants while a member of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003, struck out six and walked just one over the course of six innings on Friday night, but that was as far as he could take it.
Coming out for the seventh inning, Millwood had to depart after throwing just a single warm-up pitch due to a mild right groin strain but that injury didn't keep the starter from enjoying the 10th combined no-hitter in major league history.
"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."
Relievers Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen all had a hand in keeping the Dodgers hitless. Pryor was rewarded with his first win and Wilhelmsen logged his third save of the campaign.
From an offensive standpoint, Ichiro Suzuki recorded three of the squad's eight hits and scored the lone run of the game when he was knocked in by Kyle Seager in the bottom of the seventh.
The no-hitter was the fourth of the season already and the third in franchise history for the Mariners following Randy Johnson and Chris Bosio in 1990 and 1993, respectively.
As for the Dodgers, a team which had just come off the first sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on the road since moving to California, they were due to have a bit of a let-down as they traveled back across the country to begin this series.
Juan Rivera, Bobby Abreu and Jerry Hairston Jr. all reached base by earning walks, but they were unable to capitalize.
Nathan Eovaldi started the game on the mound for Los Angeles, lasting six scoreless innings as he allowed five hits and a pair of walks, while striking out six. Scott Elbert was handed the loss as he lasted just 2/3 innings for a Dodgers team which still owns the best record in all of baseball and leads the National League West by four games over San Francisco.
Despite suffering from plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Clayton Kershaw is still scheduled to make the start for the Dodgers against Seattle today. Riding a personal two-game losing streak, the former first-round draft pick is aiming for his first victory since topping St. Louis back on May 19.
Most recently Kershaw was on the hill against Philadelphia on Monday and managed to make it through seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and striking out five, and even though the Dodgers picked up the 4-3 triumph, the lefty failed to figure into the decision.
Now in his fifth season in the majors, Kershaw has a record of 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA versus Seattle.
As for the Mariners, they have Jason Vargas setting up to counter Kershaw on the mound. The California native, now in his seventh campaign in the majors, has never produced a winning record in a single season but this time around he is off to a 7-4 start.
Just three wins shy of tying his single-season high for victories, the lefty has won two straight and three of his last four decisions, with the Seattle offense generating a total of 28 runs in those three wins. On Monday Vargas permitted four runs on nine hits and a pair of walks, but struck out a season- high eight as he lasted 5 2/3 innings in picking up the victory against the Angels on the road.
In his career against the Dodgers, Vargas has a record of 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA.
Seattle, which is just 10-13 at home and is 7 1/2 games off the pace in the American League West, now has an interleague record of 149-121 all-time and has taken six of the last eight meetings between the clubs. The Dodgers are just 109-131 versus the AL in interleague action.