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Paxton becomes second Canadian to toss big league no hitter

(Photo: James Paxton, left, shown with teammates at the 2006 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup in Cuba)

OTTAWA- Ladner, British Columbia native James Paxton made history at Rogers Centre in Toronto last night becoming just the second Canadian to throw a no hitter in Major League Baseball and the first Canadian to do so on home soil.

The Seattle Mariners left-handed pitcher held the Toronto Blue Jays hitless through nine innings, walking three batters and recording seven strikeouts in front of 20,513 fans.

"It's very special. I can't think of a better place to have done it," said Paxton in a postgame interview with Sportsnet. "The Canadian fans are great. I'm very happy to have done it here."

Paxton, who was coming off a 16-strikeout performance in his last start on May 2ndagainst Oakland, becomes just the second Canadian to throw a no hitter in the big leagues joining the late Dick Fowler who completed the feat on September 9th, 1945 as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics. 

“I’m honoured to be the second Canadian to throw a no hitter in Major League Baseball,” continued Paxton in a news conference. 

The 29-year-old was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 2009 out of the University of Kentucky but did not sign with the club. In 2010, the Mariners used their fourth round selection on Paxton who made his big league debut on September 7th, 2013.

Prior to joining the University of Kentucky, Paxton spent two years (2005, 2006) with the Junior National Team program. He represented Canada at the 2005 COPABE 18U Pan Am Championships, and in 2006 at the IBAF 18U World Cup in Cuba where Canada captured the bronze medal.