BY Steve Rudman 04:18PM 08/12/2015

Hisashi Iwakuma dazzler: No-hits Orioles 3-0

Hisashi Iwakuma threw the fourth individual no-hitter in Mariners history Wednesday at Safeco Field, blanking the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 in front of 25,661.

Great day at Safeco: The Mariners swarm Seattle pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma Wednesday after he no-hit the Baltimore Orioles 3-0. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest

Hisashi Iwakuma, who had never recorded a complete game or a shutout in 87 major league starts, threw the fifth no-hitter in Mariners history Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field, baffling the Baltimore Orioles 3-0. Iwakuma’s is the first no-hitter in the American League since teammate Felix Hernandez tossed a perfect game against Tampa Bay nearly three years ago on Aug. 15, 2012.

In front of 25,661, Iwakuma struck out seven in also becoming the second Japanese-born pitcher to throw a no-hitter in MLB, following Hideo Nomo, who threw two (Sept. 17, 1996 at Colorado with Dodgers) and April 4, 2001 at Baltimore (with Red Sox).

“The fans deserved it,” Iwakuma said through translator Anthony Suzuki. “I was aware of the no-hitter, obviously, but I really felt it to start the ninth inning. I just focused on one hitter at a time. I wanted to pitch my game and get the first batter out in each inning and was able to do that. It was a great game today. I want to thank all the fans who were here today to root for me. Without them, I couldn’t have done it.”

In the ninth inning, the 34-year-old Iwakuma, who joined the Mariners as an international free agent in 2012, faced No. 9 David Lough, No. 1 Manny Machado and No. 2 Gerardo Parra.

Lough worked Iwakuma to a 2-and-2 count and then fouled off a pitch high along the third-base line, near the stands. Kyle Seager, a Gold Glove winner last year, tracked the ball and made a stunning, running catch over his shoulder with the ball slicing away from him.

“That’s a testament to Kuma,” said Seager. “That was the toughest play in the entire game. He was phenomenal. Other than that play, everything else was routine. It couldn’t happen to a better guy. Everybody is so excited for him personally.”

One of the top offensive players in the American League, Machado took a huge rip and fouled off Iwakuma’s first offering for a strike. Iwakuma then suckered Machado with an elevated fastball for strike two. Machado followed by bouncing to Seager at third, who had an easy play to first base.

Parra didn’t dally, sending Iwakuma’s first pitch on a high arc into the gap between CF Austin Jackson and LF Brad Miller. Jackson had a bead on it all the way, making a running catch for the final out in front of Miller with a huge smile on his face.

Iwakuma received several standing ovations, took a couple of curtain calls, and absorbed a Gatorade bath led by Charlie Furbush, who participated in a combined (six pitchers) no-hitter for Seattle June 9, 2012.

“I’m just glad it’s over with since I’ve had to pee since the fifth inning,” said manager Lloyd McClendon, smiling. “This is pretty special. I thought his stuff was really sharp. His split was coming out really crisp. As it went along, you realized this could happen.”

Iwakuma, the subject of many trade rumors prior to the July 31 deadline, walked three and threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 29 batters he faced. Apart from his seven strikeouts, Iwakuma retired 12 Orioles on ground balls and eight on fly balls.

Iwakuma salutes the Safeco Field crowd after the fifth no-hitter in Seattle franchise history. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest

 Mariners no-hitters

Year Date Pitcher Opp. Skinny
1990 June 2 Randy Johnson Det Eight K’s, 6 walks in 2-0 Kingdome win
1993 April 22 Chris Bosio Bos 4 strikeouts in 7-0 Kingdome victory
2012 June 9 *Combined LAD 6 pitchers, most ever in combined no-no
2012 Aug. 15 Felix Hernandez TB 12 strikeouts in 1-0 perfect game
2015 Aug. 12 Hisashi Iwakuma Bal 7 strikeouts, 3 walks in 3-0 victory

The Mariners collected their three runs on an RBI double by Franklin Gutierrez in the second inning, an RBI single by Robinson Cano in the third, and an RBI double by backup catcher Jesus Sucre in the fourth.


  • Iwakuma’s is the fourth no-hitter in the majors this season, following Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels vs. Chicago (NL), July 25; Washington’s Max Scherzer vs. Pittsburgh, June 20, and San Francisco’s Chris Heston vs. New York (NL), June 9.
  • The last three American League no-hitters have been at Safeco Field: Iwakuma, Hernandez and the combined no-no. Chicago’s Philip Humber also threw a perfect game at Safeco Field April 21, 2012.
  • Five Mariners catchers have been on the receiving end of no-hitters: Scott Bradley (Randy Johnson), Dave Valle (Chris Bosio), Jesus Montero (combined), John Jaso (Felix Hernandez) and Jesus Sucre (Hisashi Iwakuma).
  • Iwakuma’s was the fifth complete-game shutout by a Mariners starter this season (last Mike Montgomery June 30 vs. San Diego).


*=Kevin Millwood (6.0), Charlie Furbush (0.2), Stephen Pryor (0.1), Lucas Luetge (0.1), Brandon League (0.2), Tom Wilhelmsen (1.0).


  • Trygvesture

    Awesome. Exciting. Unexpected. Unarguably Great. Respite from the Clownship Realities and so very much enjoyed and appreciated.

  • Long-Time Mariners Fan

    A grand game, and hearing the crowd roar on the radio at the end was heartening. Felix gets the big attention, but Iwakuma has always been right there – steady, working hard. A great day in a disappointing season.

    Other pluses – the bullpen gets a rest and we make three runs stand up without Cruz in the line-up.

    • eddaqezes

      work at home $509.96./day




  • Sonics79

    Domo arigato, Kuma-sama. You have given M’s fans a bright spot in a dismal season.

  • Kirkland

    That’s the beauty of baseball; even a game with little importance to the pennant can generate a historic moment, like a perfect game, no-hitter, or even a cycle. I remember a perfect game played on the last day of the season between two eliminated teams Angels’ Mike Witt vs. Texas in 1982.

    Interestingly, the M’s have more no-no’s than a number of teams older than them. The Royals have just four, the Brewers and Mets one each, and the Padres zip. And they’ve done it in both the bandbox Kingdome and plantation-sized Safeco (maybe the youngest field to host two perfectos and two other no-hitters?).