Kevin Millwood exits with groin strain; Mariners get no-hitter anyway

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Kevin Millwood pitched six hitless innings Friday against the Dodgers before being forced from the game with a mild right groin strain after going to warm up for the seventh, but five relievers combined to shut L.A. down afterwards, giving Seattle its first no-hitter in 19 years.

Millwood threw just 68 pitches before his departure, putting him in great position to get the no-hitter by himself. He threw a two-hitter against the Rockies last month, giving him his first shutout since 2003.

Charlie Furbush replaced him to start the seventh and combined with Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen on the no-no. It was Seattle’s first no-hitter since Chris Bosio had one against Boston in 1993.

Miguel Sano gained weight this offseason

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Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:

Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.

They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.

Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.

Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.

So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.