James Paxton Blanks Jays with 99-pitch No-hitter

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Former Kentucky star James Paxton threw a no-hitter on Tuesday night for the Seattle Mariners against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Paxton is the fifth Mariners starting pitcher to throw a solo no-hitter in club history, joining Chris Bosio, Randy Johnson, Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, who had the last one on August 12, 2015.

"Of all places, to do it in Toronto, it's pretty awesome", said Paxton, who was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2009 but did not sign with the team.

BC-BBA-Mariners-Blue Jays, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 749 No-Canada! "I really respect their cheers after the game and supporting me. I made a few pitches, got lucky a bunch of times - it was just our night".

This is what Major League Baseball hitters are asked to face every single game, night in and night out: dozens upon dozens of pitchers, the great majority of whom can run it up to 95 miles per hour and beyond, like Paxton.

"The fans were great", he said.

Paxton's 99-pitch no-hitter against the Blue Jays, one start after a 16-strikeout effort last week against the A's, provided final confirmation that he, not Felix Hernandez, rules the M's rotation and will for the foreseeable future.

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"I had some family here tonight and friends [and it was] special to share it with them".

The 29-year-old lefty from Ladner, B.C., became the first Canadian to achieve the feat since Dick Fowler of Toronto pitched a no-hitter for the Philadelphia Athletics on September 9, 1945, his first start in three years after serving for the Canadian Army in the Second World War. They were giving me some trouble in the seventh inning, but once I got past that, they started kind of cheering me on.

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

Outfielders Dee Gordon and Ben Gamel also made impressive plays to seal the win for the Mariners and secure the no-hitter for Paxton. That cost Paxton his final year of NCAA eligibility and he ended up having to play for an independent league team before the Mariners drafted him in 2010. For Paxton, it will be interesting to see if he can avoid those minor injuries and become one of the best lefties in the game.

The eagle mistook Paxton, who was standing in the outfield, for its owner and tried to land on his shoulder. 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. Six outs away, the eighth inning, we had those balls hit very hard, right at people.

Moustakas hit a solo home run in the first and added a two-run double later that inning.

Marcus Stroman (0-5) remained winless in seven starts. So over last two starts, Paxton has allowed five hits and zero runs over 16 innings while walking four and striking out 23.

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