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Mariners starter James Paxton tosses a no-hitter against the Blue Jays

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Mariners starter James Paxton no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night and he did so in dominant fashion.

Paxton required only 99 pitches — making this not only a no-hitter but a Maddux — striking out seven and walking three. His high heat was overpowering all night long. Indeed, he hit 100 m.p.h. on his second to last pitch of the game (Statcast called it 99.5, but let’s round up, shall we?). This comes on the heels of Paxton’s 16-strikeout performance against the Athletics six days ago. That was the highest strikeout total for any pitcher this season. This was the superior historical accomplishment.

While the Blue Jays did not challenge Paxton all that much, his final inning was one of his easiest of the night. The first batter, Anthony Alford, swung at the first pitch he saw and fouled out down the right field line. Next up was Teoscar Hernandez, who struck out on three straight pitches. The last better Paxton faced was former AL MVP Josh Donaldson. Pitch one: swinging strike. Pitch two: a 100 m.p.h. strike looking and then . . . Donaldson grounded out to third to end it. The no-hitter, in Canada, from a Canadian pitcher who sports a large maple leaf tattoo on his forearm, which he pointed to as a nice nod to the Toronto crowd. That had to feel good for Paxton and even to some of the fans on hand at Rogers Centre, even if they’re Jays fans.

It was the sixth no-hitter for a Mariners pitcher. The previous ones to accomplish it: Randy Johnson in 1990, Chris Bosio in 1993, a six-pitcher combined no hitter, started by Kevin Millwood, in 2012, Felix Hernandez in 2012 — his was a perfect game — and Hisashi Iwakuma in 2015. All of those happened in Seattle. Paxton’s was the first ever on the road.

Congratulations, James Paxton!

Anthony DeSclafani crushed a grand slam for his first career home run

Anthony DeSclafani
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Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:

Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.

The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.

The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.