Dodgers third baseman Elian Herrera reacts after missing a pitch during… (Elaine Thompson / Associated…)
Those Dodgers, they’re always full of surprises, though it’s possible they outdid themselves Friday in Seattle.
The Dodgers brought the best record in the major leagues to the Northwest to face the last-place Mariners. And were promptly no-hit.
Six Seattle pitchers combined to hold the Dodgers without a hit, squeezing out a lone run to defeat the Dodgers, 1-0, at Safeco Field.
Kevin Millwood, the 37-year-old right-hander who spent most of last season in the minors, was throwing the game of his life when he had a groin strain with his first warm-up pitch in the top of the seventh.
Millwood stood on the mound, hesitated before throwing another pitch and then walked off the mound. And soon, into the clubhouse. The Mariners said he suffered a mild groin strain.
He left having not allowed a hit through six innings. He faced the minimum number of batters through six. The only runner he allowed came via his only walk in the fifth inning, but Bobby Abreu bounced into a double play.
Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen held the Dodgers hitless over the final three innings. It was only the second time in baseball history that six pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter (Astros 2003).
It was the third no-hitter in Mariners’ history. The last time the Dodgers were no-hit, they beat the Angels, 1-0, in 2008. The last time the Dodgers were held hitless over nine innings came on April 8, 1994, when Atlanta's Kent Mercker threw a no-hitter against them.
The Dodgers’ Nathan Eovaldi, meanwhile, was pretty much pitching the game of his young life too. Of course, this was only Eovaldi’s ninth career start.
Eovaldi left after having thrown six scoreless innings. He allowed five hits, all singles, while walking one and striking out six. Eovaldi has a 1.93 ERA but is thus far 0-2 on the season.
The Mariners finally ended the scoreless deadlock with a run in the seventh off left-hander Scott Elbert. He got the first two outs before Ichiro Suzuki beat out an infield single and stole second.
Elbert walked light-hitting Dustin Ackley before giving up a looping single to Kyle Seager that scored Suzuki. Seager is the older brother of the Dodgers’ new No.1 draft pick, shortstop Corey Seager.
The Dodgers’ best chance to score came when Pryor opened the eighth with consecutive walks. James Loney’s bunt against Luetge advanced the runners, but League came in to get A.J. Ellis to line out to shallow left and strike out Tony Gwynn Jr.
The Dodgers thought they had broken up the no-no when Dee Gordon hit a slow roller to shortstop Brendan Ryan, but Gordon was ruled out in an extremely close play.