Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma held the Baltimore Orioles hitless in a 3-0 home victory on Wednesday.
The righty struck out seven and walked three batters en route to a 116-pitch shutout. Robinson Cano, Franklin Gutierrez, and Austin Jackson knocked in runs in support of the Seattle sinkerballer.
A fleet-footed Jackson chased down a slicing Gerardo Parra fly ball to center field to seal the deal that Iwakuma, but few others, felt in doubt at the crack of the bat. The game marks Iwakuma’s first complete game in four seasons in Major League Baseball.
“I can’t find the words to express my feelings,” Iwakuma told reporters in a message not lost in translation. “I’m truly happy.”
The no-hitter serves as a highlight amid a series of Seattle Mariners lowlights in 2015. At 54-61, the team sits in fourth place in the American League West and eight games behind the division-leading Houston Astros.
The Tokyo native joins Hideo Nomo, who held two lineups hitless, as the only Japanese-born players to throw no-hitters. The no-no marks the only in the American League out of the twelve most recent. The last American League no-hitter came via the arm of Iwakuma’s teammate, Felix Hernandez, who pitched a perfect game three years ago Saturday.
Iwakuma’s accomplishment marks the 291st time a team has been held without a hit in Major League Baseball history. Iwakuma joins Chris Heston of the Giants, Max Scherzer of the Nationals, and Cole Hamels then of the Phillies in tossing no-hitters this season.