SEATTLE (AP) — Wei-Yin Chen and two relievers fell two outs shy of Miami’s first combined no-hitter and the Marlins one-hit the Seattle Mariners in a 5-0 victory Tuesday night.
The Marlins were on the verge of the sixth no-hitter in franchise history when Mitch Haniger lined a one-out double into right-center field off Kyle Barraclough. The right-hander recovered to strike out Robinson Cano and get Nelson Cruz to line out to right.
It was the second time in three days the Marlins’ pitching staff took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Dan Straily and two relievers combined to no-hit the New York Mets through seven innings Sunday before Neil Walker broke it up in the eighth inning with a single off Brad Ziegler with two outs.
The Marlins also let a no-hit bid off the hook with an out in the ninth last April, when Adam Conley and Jose Urena combined to hold Milwaukee hitless until Jonathan Lucroy’s single.
Chen (2-0) did the heavy lifting Tuesday, silencing the Mariners for seven innings. He was pulled by manager Don Mattingly after throwing 100 pitches, and the bullpen sought to finish what the left-hander from Taiwan had started. Ziegler got three groundouts to get through the eighth, including close plays at first base to get Leonys Martin and Jarrod Dyson, but Haniger got the better of Barraclough, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.
Chen entered with a 7.00 ERA and 14 hits allowed over his first two starts of the season, both coming against the New York Mets. But he lived on the edges of the strike zone, and Seattle was willing to chase, making weak contact as 19 of the first 21 outs were recorded by the defense.
There were few times Seattle even threatened a hit against Chen, even with the number of balls put in play. The best contact Seattle made came in the fifth inning when Kyle Seager hit a one-hopper back up the middle that shortstop JT Riddle gloved and threw to first. Taylor Motter, the next batter, flew out to the warning track in center, but that was about it for solid contact by Seattle.
Chen got 12 fly ball outs from the Mariners and just seven on the ground. He allowed three total baserunners, two coming in the seventh inning, on a walk to Motter and when Nelson Cruz was hit by a pitch with one out. But Chen finished off the inning, striking out Seager and getting a pop up from Motter.
Miami got the offense it needed early with an RBI infield single by Christian Yelich in the first inning and a two-run homer by Justin Bour in the third inning.
Seattle starter Yovani Gallardo (0-2) allowed four runs and nine hits. While the Marlins had a number of broken-bat singles or slow rollers that found holes in the infield, Gallardo did leave a slider hanging that Bour hit for an opposite-field home run. The damage would have been worse if not for Guillermo Heredia robbing Marcell Ozuna of a three-run homer in the first inning with a leaping catch at the wall.
Marlins: IF Adeiny Hechavarria (oblique) will likely join the Marlins in San Diego for their weekend series against the Padres. Mattingly said the hope is Hechavarria, currently on a rehab assignment, will be able to play early in the San Diego series. … 3B Martin Prado was out of the lineup after leaving Monday’s game with a calf cramp. It’s not considered serious but Mattingly wasn’t sure if Prado would play in the series finale on Wednesday.
Mariners: Shortstop Jean Segura (hamstring) is likely to go on a brief rehab assignment before rejoining the Mariners in Oakland this weekend. Manager Scott Servais said Segura will probably play one or two games — possibly with Class A Modesto — before rejoining the Mariners.
Marlins: Edinson Volquez (0-1) makes his fourth start of the season still looking for his first victory.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (1-1) has 15 strikeouts and no walks in his first three starts.