The last time the Dodgers were no-hit on the road was in 1988, when Tom Browning threw a perfect game in Cincinnati.
"It's been a couple days of firsts -- we sweep Philly and we get no-hit the next day," said Mattingly. "It doesn't feel that bad, really. We lost a game, really, as much as anything."
Not a promising start to 15 consecutive Interleague games for a Dodgers team that went 6-9 in Interleague Play last year.
The oddities in this game kept on coming, from Seattle starter Kevin Millwood pulling himself after six innings with a mild groin strain to Dodgers rookie starter Nathan Eovaldi equaling Millwood with six scoreless innings that are easy to overlook to the presence of plate umpire Brian Runge, whose last game behind the dish at Safeco Field was for Philip Humber's perfect game for the White Sox in April.
"Millwood did what he normally does, he located good," said Tony Gwynn.
Asked about calling back-to-back no-nos in Seattle, Runge said he was so focused on his job in this one that he wasn't keeping track of what the Dodgers' offense was not accomplishing.
"The perfect game I was a wreck, but I gave up on this [no-hitter] when Millwood went out," said Runge, a third-generation Major League umpire who also called Jonathan Sanchez's no-hitter for the Giants in 2009. "I was just umpiring the game, in a zone. I didn't realize it until we got in [the clubhouse] and started talking about it."
The lone Mariners run scored off reliever Scott Elbert, who struck out the first two batters in the seventh inning. But he allowed an infield single to Ichiro Suzuki (one of three hits), who stole second. Dustin Ackley walked. Third baseman Kyle Seager, brother of Dodgers first-round pick Corey Seager, lined a single that skimmed the glove of leaping shortstop Dee Gordon to drive in Ichiro.
Millwood went six efficient innings, needing only 68 pitches and striking out six. He retired the first 12 batters he faced before allowing a leadoff walk to Juan Rivera in the fifth, but faced the minimum number of hitters, as Rivera was erased on Bobby Abreu's double-play grounder.
How was Millwood so effective?
"I'm not sure," said Mattingly. "He was getting us out, though, that's for sure. He pitched like that against us last year; I don't remember us doing much with him either. We really didn't hit anything hard tonight."
Millwood was injured on the next-to-last pitch of a Tony Gwynn strikeout that ended the sixth inning, and having already pitched a no-hitter -- in 2003 for Philadelphia against San Francisco -- he decided that a second one wasn't worth making a mild groin strain worse. He tried one warmup pitch in the seventh and shut it down.
Two batters after Millwood left, the Dodgers had their first runner in scoring position and still were without a hit. Charlie Furbush, who took over for Millwood, threw away a one-out tapper by Elian Herrera, who went to second base on the error. But Furbush struck out Andre Ethier, and Stephen Pryor came on to strike out Rivera.
In the eighth, Pryor walked Abreu and Jerry Hairston Jr., and Mattingly had James Loney bunt them to second and third. A.J. Ellis hit a soft liner on an 0-2 pitch from Brandon League into shallow left field, but Chone Figgins, just inserted for defense, made a reaching catch and came up throwing.
Rookie Alex Castellanos, pinch-running for Abreu, wasn't sure whether the ball would drop or not, and when he retreated to third base, coach Tim Wallach held him there. Figgins' throw required a leaping catch by catcher Jesus Montero. League then struck out Gwynn to escape the jam.
"I had faced him twice, and the split I had seen maybe once," said Gwynn. "He did a good job executing. I look back, and the first fastball, [that I took for a strike], was the best pitch to hit."
The closest thing to a Dodgers hit off Millwood was a bunt down the third-base line by Gordon leading off the fourth inning. But Seager made a barehanded pickup and threw across his body to just beat Gordon to the bag.
The next closest thing to a Dodgers hit was a bang-bang play in the ninth. Gordon led off with a broken-bat roller to shortstop Brendan Ryan, inserted for his defense, and the throw arrived as Gordon hit the bag. Umpire Ted Barrett called Gordon out; Mattingly protested mildly.