Rookie Pryor earns first career win in no-hitter
Fifth-round pick at heart of history, but not without heartburn
When Stephen Pryor was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma on June 1, he could not have envisioned he would soon be part of history. Yet, he found himself right in the middle of a special night.
Making just his fourth Major League appearance, Pryor earned his first career win in the Mariners' combined no-hitter, a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers.
Kevin Millwood started the game but left after six innings due to injury. Charlie Furbush took over and pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing a runner to reach second on an error. That's when Pryor took the hill.
It wasn't the cleanest outing, though it started well. Pryor -- the hard-throwing, ninth-ranked Seattle prospect -- struck out Juan Rivera to end the seventh inning.
When Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager singled in the bottom half of the frame to plate Ichiro Suzuki, Pryor was in line for the win. He returned to the hill in the eighth with a one-run lead, only to walk leadoff hitter Bobby Abreu on five pitches, then issue a four-pitch free pass to Jerry Hairston.
That's when manager Eric Wedge summoned Lucas Luetge, who retired James Loney on a sacrifice bunt. Brandon League entered and finished the frame without incident -- and without a hit. Pryor threw 15 pitches, four for strikes, and he won the third no-hitter in club history.
"It feels good, I wish I contributed a little better, but I'm happy the team did well," Pryor said.
An inning later, Tom Wilhelmsen put the finishing touches on the first combined no-hitter since six Astros hurlers spun one on June 11, 2003 -- and the fourth no-hitter this season.
"The first six is what it is, I've seen a lot of people do that. From seven, eight, nine, those guys got all those outs. That was special to see," said Millwood, who threw one warmup pitch before the seventh before leaving with a groin strain.
"That was unbelievable. I've never been a part of anything like this in my life," said Seager. "It is crazy and exciting all at the same time."
Drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Pryor has allowed one earned run in four appearances (four innings), with four strikeouts. Before his promotion, Pryor held Triple-A opposition scoreless in 12 innings of work over nine Triple-A appearances. He recorded two saves and struck out 15, after he was promoted from Double-A Jackson in early May.
Now, as the Mariners hope to ride the no-hitter into a stronger summer performance, Pryor can look back on his first week with a unique place in history.
Jon Star is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.