Kyle Seager's brilliant play at third base saved James Paxton's no-hitter

Every no-hitter comes with that play, the one that saves a no-hitter and will always tie the fielder to the pitcher’s accomplishment. In the case of James Paxton’s entrance into history, it was Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager who made that play.

In the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, the Blue Jays’ Kevin Pilllar hit a Statcast-measured 109 mph grounder down the left field line, right in the hole where sharp grounders can elude third basemen. Seager, who won a Gold Glove at third base in 2014, made the difference.

The veteran managed to dive toward the foul line and reel in the shot, then jump to his feet and make a one-hop throw and throw out the speedy Pillar from across the diamond. The play had no bigger fan than first baseman Ryon Healy, who pointed his finger at Seager and pumped his arm.

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Scenes from James Paxton's no-hitter
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Scenes from James Paxton's no-hitter
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners picks up the baseball off the turf before beginning to pitch the second inning with his maple leaf tattoo on his right forearm during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** James Paxton
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** James Paxton
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners makes the play and throws out the baserunner for the final out of the seventh inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8 - Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton (right) touches gloves with 3B Kyle Seager after Seager made a play to protect the no hitter during the 7th inning of MLB action as the Toronto Blue Jays host the Seattle Mariners at the Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 08: Seattle Mariners Starting pitcher James Paxton (65) throws the final pitch of a no hitter during the regular season MLB game between the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays on May 8, 2018 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 08: Seattle Mariners Starting pitcher James Paxton (65) celebrates after throwing a no hitter in the regular season MLB game between the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays on May 8, 2018 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his no-hitter with Mike Zunino #3 as Jean Segura #2 runs to greet them during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: Dee Gordon #9 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates with Kyle Seager #15 after James Paxton #65 threw a no-hitter during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8 - Mariners pitcher James Paxton celebrates his no-hitter as the Toronto Blue Jays host the Seattle Mariners at the Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018. Mariners pitcher James Paxton threw a complete game no-hitter. The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 5-0. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates after throwing a no-hitter during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8 - Mariners pitcher James Paxton is showered with a sports drink by Robinson Cano (left) and Mike Zunino after his complete game no hitter as the Toronto Blue Jays host the Seattle Mariners at the Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018. Mariners pitcher James Paxton threw a complete game no-hitter. The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 5-0. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 8: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners acknowledges the fans after throwing a no-hitter during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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“You try to make the play all the time, but, man, that ball gets by you and it’s going to be hard to get any sleep tonight,” Seager said to Root Sports Northwest. “Might be hard to get it anyway, but it was just an unbelievably good game by Paxton.”

It was also Seager who made the final play to seal Paxton’s no-hitter. While it was an easier grounder than his previous play, it wasn’t quite as easy as Seager hoped.

“It’s such a crazy feeling, it’s hard to describe,” Seager said. “You legitimately want the ball hit to you, but you want the ball to be, like, a pop-up in foul territory. That’s what I was truly hoping for. Either a strikeout or a pop-up in foul territory, those are my two options.”

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