Perhaps there was no better example of a team winning together. For one night, the Mariners inability to hit in Safeco Field didnt matter.
Because on Friday night, the Seattle pitching staff was unhittable.
A combination of six pitchers starter Kevin Millwood and five relievers Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen combined to hold the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless in a 1-0 win.
The combined no-hitter was the 10th in major league history. It was the third no-hitter in Mariners history. The other two came in the Kingdome. On June 2, 1990, Randy Johnson beat the Tigers, 2-0, while Chris Bosio no-hit the Red Sox in a 7-0 victory on April 22, 1993.
When you win a 1-0 ballgame in that fashion, so many different people have to step up defensively and on the mound and thats what you saw tonight, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
I didnt even know how to celebrate, said third baseman Kyle Seager, who delivered the game-winning hit. Ive never been a part of something like this.
The last time something like that happened was on June 11, 2003 when the Houston Astros used six pitchers to no-hit the New York Yankees, 8-0.
Catcher Jesus Montero sure knew how to celebrate. The big catcher leaped into the arms of reliever Wilhelmsen, who pitched the final inning.
I saw him coming at me, he said. Thats what we train for.
In any no-hitter, a few defensive plays needed to be made to preserve it. There were two that stood out for the Mariners both involving Dodgers speedy shortstop Dee Gordon.
Seager made a barehanded pickup and throw on a drag bunt by Gordon to start the fourth. In the ninth, Brendan Ryan came on as a defensive replacement at shortstop. Gordon hit a soft roller to Ryan, who gloved it and threw off the run to get Gordon by a half-step.
If anyone can make that play, its Ryan, Wilhelmsen said.
But the bulk of the no-hit work was done by Millwood.
The veteran right-hander, who threw a complete game no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies on April 27, 2003, pitched six strong innings. However, he tweaked his groin a little on the second-to-last pitch of the sixth inning.
After throwing one warm-up pitch before the start of the seventh inning, Millwood motioned to the bench, bringing Wedge and trainer Rick Griffin to the mound. After a brief discussion, Millwood left the field.
Wedge called on left-hander Furbush, who was given as much time as needed to warm up off the mound.
Furbush got Gordon to pop up, but then made a costly throwing error on Elian Herreras bunt attempt, throwing it wildly past Justin Smoak. With Herrera in scoring position on second, Furbush struck out Andre Ethier. Wedge then called on Pryor to get the final out of the inning and preserve the no-hitter. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out Juan Rivera on a series of fastballs to end the inning.
Still even with the hitless Dodgers, the Mariners had yet to muster a run or much of anything against Los Angeles starter Nathan Eovaldi.
But that changed in the seventh when Eovaldi was lifted.
Left-handed specialist Scott Elbert started the seventh and after two quick strikeouts, pitched himself into trouble. He gave up an infield single to Ichiro Suzuki and then walked Dustin Ackley, bringing to the plate the Mariners most consistent hitter this season Seager. After failing to come through with runners in scoring position in the third and fifth inning, Seager dumped a line drive single into left just off the glove a leaping Gordon to score Ichiro.
For a moment, it didnt seem like that one run would be enough.
The hard-throwing Pryor fell out of rhythm and walked to the first two hitters of the eighth inning. Wedge called on left-hander Luetge, who gave up a sacrifice bunt to James Loney to move the runners into scoring position.
Wedge then called beleaguered reliever League to stifle the scoring threat as well as preserve the no-hitter.
League got A.J. Ellis to fly out weakly to left field. Defensive replacement Chone Figgins made a brilliant running catch and then strong throw home to freeze the runner. League then struck out Tony Gwynn Jr. to end the inning.
No-hitters thrown by the Seattle Mariners with date, pitcher(s) and result:
6-2-90 Randy Johnson: Seattle Mariners 2, Detroit Tigers 0
4-22-93 Chris Bosio: Seattle Mariners 7, Boston Red Sox 0
Friday Millwood, Furbush, Pryor, Luetge, League and Wilhelmsen: Seattle Mariners 1, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
• It was the 10th time in major league history a team used more than one pitcher to throw a no-hitter. The first team to do it was the Boston Red Sox when starting pitcher Babe Ruth and reliever Ernie Shore no-hit the Washington Senators, 4-0, on June 23, 1917. Ruth was ejected for arguing with the umpire after walking the first batter.
• The Mariners tied the record for most pitchers used in a no-hitter (six). The Houston Astros used six pitchers – Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner – in the 2-0 no-hitter against the New York Yankees on June 11, 2003.