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.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.