Former Kentucky star James Paxton threw a no-hitter on Tuesday night for the Seattle Mariners against the Toronto Blue Jays. "It may be hard anyway". I'm just going to rear back and throw as hard as I can.
"I was like, 'Holy smokes, I can't believe this just happened, '" Paxton said afterwards. The crowd was pulling for him late in the game, realizing he was Canadian. Paxton fanned Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on 98 miles per hour heat to end the eighth, got Anthony Alford to foul out to right field on the first pitch to start the ninth and blew a 97 miles per hour four-seamer down the middle past Teoscar Hernandez for the second out. After his teammates had left the field, he came back out for a final wave. "It's just very special".
Paxton's gem also gave Mariners manager Scott Servais plenty to talk about Wednesday at his previously scheduled appearance at a luncheon for the Jays Care Foundation, the Blue Jays' registered charity. Rather than K cards to mark his strikeouts, they hold up "Eh" signs in a playful nod to his heritage.
Paxton threw just 99 pitches over the nine inning, striking out six Blue Jay batters along the way.
In the hilly fourth stage of the Giro D'Italia in Sicily, Canada's Michael Woods had his best finish ever a cycling Grand Tour, crossing the line in second place on Tuesday. And because more and more hitters have adopted swings geared toward putting lift on a ball and golfing it out of the park instead of level hacks created to make contact, they're going up against pitchers who have mostly abandoned two-seam fastballs or pitching low in the strike zone. "It certainly was special tonight".
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Judge untied the game by lacing a 1-1 slider to left field, scoring Neil Walker, who started the rally with a double off Heath Hembree (2-1).
Oakland Athletics' Sean Manaea tossed one on April 21 against the Red Sox in California, while four pitchers from the Los Angeles Dodgers combined on a no-hitter to beat San Diego last Friday in Mexico. A few more insane starts like this and he'll probably be looking at his first All-Star Game appearance in July.
The no-hitter marked the sixth in Mariners history, following exceptional efforts by Randy Johnson (1990), Chris Bosio (1993), Felix Hernandez (a ideal game in 2012) and Hisashi Iwakuma (2015). His ability to ramp up the fastball as the game progressed is a reminder of how Justin Verlander did that back in his MVP season in 2011.
Royals 15, Orioles 7: Mike Moustakas homered twice and drove in five runs, and visiting Kansas City homered four times and scored 10 runs in the first inning, finishing with five homers overall in a rout of Baltimore. Toronto has a talented team but the pitching hasn't performed to expectations: Stroman is 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA, Marco Estrada is 3-2 with a 5.21 ERA and Aaron Sanchez is 2-3 with a 4.14 ERA.
Nola allowed only five hits and one run.