SEATTLE — As the Dodgers reached the late innings against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night, "I had visions of us winning the game without a hit," Manager Don Mattingly said.
Half of his vision came true, as veteran Kevin Millwood and five Seattle relief pitchers tossed a no-hitter against the Dodgers.
But it was Seattle that won, 1-0, after Andre Ethier's ground out ended the game as an announced crowd of 22,028 stood and screamed at Safeco Field. The gem they witnessed tied the major league record for most pitchers used in a no-hitter.
It was the first time the Dodgers went hitless in nine innings since the Altanta Braves' Kent Mercker tossed a no-hitter against them at Dodger Stadium on April 8, 1994.
"It was different," Mattingly said of Friday's loss, which ended the Dodgers' four-game winning streak. "I think it's the first time I've ever been on this side of a no-hitter."
Still, "it doesn't feel that bad," he said. "At the end of the day you lost a game."
The Dodgers also went hitless in eight innings on June 28, 2008, against the Angels, but the Dodgers won that game, 1-0, as the home team at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers' starter Friday, 22-year-old Nathan Eovaldi, did his best to keep pace with Millwood by holding Seattle scoreless on five singles through his six innings of work.
"We threw the ball great, too," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "The guy is growing and he's maturing and he's going to be a special, special pitcher."
It appeared the 37-year-old Millwood, a right-hander who didn't allow a runner until he walked Juan Rivera in the fifth inning, might throw the second no-hitter of his career by himself. His first came in 2003 when he was with the Philadelphia Phillies.
But in the seventh inning, Millwood was warming up when suddenly he stopped and motioned to the dugout that he could not continue.
It turned out to be a mild strain of his right groin. Seattle reliever Charlie Furbush took over and, with one out, he fielded a comebacker from Elian Herrera and threw wildly to first base, enabling Herrera to reach second base.
But Ethier struck out and, after Stephen Pryor replaced Furbush, Rivera struck out to end the threat.
After reliever Scott Elbert replaced Eovaldi in the bottom of the inning, Ichiro Suzuki hit a two-out single, stole second base and scored the game's only run on Kyle Seager's single to left field.
After Pryor, the other Seattle relievers contributing to the no-hitter were Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen. Pryor (1-0) got the win.
"It only counts as one game," Ellis said. "It's like getting beat 15 to 14, it doesn't really mean anything other than it's a loss."
Eovaldi was looking for his first win since being called up from double-A Chattanooga on May 29 to replace injured starting pitcher Ted Lilly.
This was the first of nine interleague games the Dodgers are playing against the Mariners, Angels and Chicago White Sox, and it was their first visit to Safeco Field since 2000.
James Loney said the sting of the no-hitter would be felt by the Dodgers "right after the game" but shouldn't last.
"When the sun comes up the next day," Loney said, "it's over with."