Toronto Blue Jays vs. Seattle Mariners

Mariners Paxton has no-hitter through 8

The Big Maple picked the ideal place for the game of his life.

TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners shows off his maple leaf tattoo after throwing a no-hitter during Major League Baseball game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. Paxton was born in British Columbia. 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".

Paxton became just the second Canadian to throw a no-hitter, joining Dick Fowler, who threw one for the Philadelphia Athletics way back in 1945.

Paxton, a Canadian native himself, was basically pitching in front of his home crowd in this game.

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James Paxton shows off his maple leaf tattoo after throwing a no-hitter against the Blue Jays.

"Of all the places", Paxton said in a postgame TV interview.

Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. each homered for the Blue Jays, who have lost eight of 12.

The Blue Jays' batters have been led by right fielder Kevin Pillar and third baseman Yangervis Solarte. He had recently returned from serving in the Canadian military during World War II, missing two full seasons, and pitched his gem in his first start of the year.

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How about five outs away?

Indeed, after Seager's great play to end the seventh, Ben Gamel ran down Russell Martin's drive deep into left-center, making a leaping grab against the scoreboard. Paxton's reaction seemed to say it - maybe that was hit No. 1.

That wasn't even the best play Seager made on the night.

James Paxton's Seattle Mariners teammates call him Big Maple. Felix Hernandez threw a flawless game in 2012, and Randy Johnson tossed Seattle's first no-hitter in 1990. He is 0-2 with a 9.88 ERA in his past three starts.

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The Mariners were cruising and then Mike Zunino stepped on the gas pedal. His fastball heated up to close to 100 miles an hour while his curveball darted toward the dirt at home plate, causing fruitless swings from the would-be Toronto hitters all night. A very good pitch. He also hit the go-ahead two-run shot in the Mariners' eventual extra-innings win over the Angels on Saturday. 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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