Hisashi Iwakuma throws no-hitter against the Orioles

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Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has just completed the fourth no-hitter of the 2015 season.

The Japanese starter walked three batters but struck out seven in a historical 116-pitch effort as the Mariners defeated the visiting Orioles 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Seattle’s Safeco Field.

Iwakuma joins Randy Johnson, Chris Bosio, and Felix Hernandez as the only Mariners starters to throw a no-no. Kevin Millwood and five relievers also combined for a no-hitter against the Dodgers in 2012.

Iwakuma was thought to be a trade candidate at the July 31 deadline, but the Mariners opted to keep the 34-year-old impending free agent and he rewarded them Wednesday by stirring up one of the loudest home crowds Safeco Field has heard this season. It’s been a disappointing summer overall for the M’s, who carried postseason expectations after an active winter but stand 54-61 even after Wednesday’s victory.

Iwakuma has also breathed some much-needed life into his open-market value. He had a stellar 3.07 in 524 innings between 2012-2014 but entered his start Wednesday with a 4.41 ERA in 63 1/3 frames.

Those nine scoreless innings have pushed his season ERA down to 3.86.

The no-hitter was also Iwakuma’s first career complete game.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.