James Paxton makes Canadian baseball history with no-hitter

James Paxton (Elsie Lin, Wikimedia Commons)

James Paxton of Ladner, British Columbia became only the second Canadian in Major League Baseball history to throw a no-hitter on Tuesday. Remarkably, Paxton threw the gem in Canada as the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Paxton threw 99 pitches over nine innings and had 64 strikes. He had seven strikeouts and three walks. Paxton improved his record this season to two wins and one loss and lowered his earned run average from 4.19 to 3.40.

The first Canadian to throw a no-hitter was Dick Fowler of Toronto, Ontario, who threw a no-hitter for the Philadelphia Athletics on September 9, 1945. The Athletics beat the St. Louis Browns 1-0.

It was also the sixth Major League Baseball no-hitter to be thrown in Canada. Three were thrown in Montreal and Paxton’s no-hitter was the third in Toronto.

On October 2, 1972, Bill Stoneman of the Montreal Expos threw his second career no-hitter and first in Montreal. At Jerry Park, the Expos beat the New York Mets 7-0.

On May 10, 1981, Charlie Lea of the Montreal Expos threw the first no-hitter at Olympic Stadium in Montreal as the Expos beat the San Francisco Giants 4-0. It was the same year the Expos made the playoffs for the only time in franchise history.

On June 29, 1990, Dave Stewart of the Oakland Athletics threw the first no-hitter in Toronto as the Athletics beat the Blue Jays 5-0 at Rogers Centre. It was the first time in Major League Baseball history that there were two no-hitters on the same day as Fernando Valenzuela threw a no-hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 6-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Stewart would go on to win the World Series with the Blue Jays in 1993.

On May 23, 1991, Tommy Greene of the Philadelphia Phillies no-hit the Expos 2-0 at Olympic Stadium. Interestingly, the Phillies catcher was Darrin Fletcher, who went on to play six years with the Expos and five years with the Blue Jays.

The last Major League Baseball no-hitter in Canada came on May 7, 2011 as the Detroit Tigers trounced the Blue Jays 9-0 at Rogers Centre. It was Verlander’s second career no hitter as he no-hit the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 on June 12, 2007.

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