May 19 (UPI) -- Spencer Turnbull said fans behind the Detroit Tigers dugout predicted he would throw a no-hitter in the first inning of his team's latest win over the Seattle Mariners. He proved them right with a pristine performance.
Turnbull thew nine strikeouts and walked two batters in nine no-hit innings to lead the Tigers to the 5-0 win Tuesday at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. He used 117 pitches to log the fifth no-hitter of the 2021 MLB season.
"I got through the first inning and they're [fans] like, 'Oh, you're the guy pitching tonight?' And I was like, 'Yeah,'" Turnbull told reporters. "They're like, 'You're throwing a no-hitter!
"It was like the first inning. I got three outs. I was like, 'All right, man.'"
Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario smacked a 398-foot solo home run in the third at-bat of the game to give Turnbull some immediate support. The Tigers right-handed starter then retired the first three Mariners hitters in order.
Candelario doubled the Tigers lead with an RBI groundout in the top of the third inning. Turnbull retired nine-consecutive Mariners hitters to start the game.
That streak -- and his bid for a perfect game -- ended when he walked Jarred Kelenic to start the bottom of the fourth inning.
Tigers veteran Miguel Cabrera pushed the lead to 3-0 with an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning. Turnbull followed his first walk with 15-consecutive retired batters.
The Tigers added two more runs in the top of the final frame to send Turnbull back to the hill for the final three outs of the night.
Turnbull walked Jose Marmolejos in the first at-bat of the half inning. He then struck out Sam Haggerty for the first out of the inning. Kelencic grounded out for the second out in the next at-bat.
Turnbull ended the game with a three-pitch strikeout of Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger. His Tigers teammates celebrated by covering him in shaving cream, beer and baby powder in the clubhouse.
Turnbull threw 77 strikes and used a variety of fastballs, changeups, sliders and curveballs to baffle the Mariners.
"For the most part I was trying to stay focused and not let the moment get too big," Turnbull told reporters. "I was aware [of the no-hit bid] in the fifth inning. I was just trying to keep going and making pitches."
Candelario went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the win. Tigers shortstop Harold Castro went 3 for 4. Mariners starter Justin Dunn allowed five hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings in the loss.
"It was just a dream come true and probably the best day of my life," Turnbull said.
Turnbull lowered his season ERA from 3.91 to 2.88 with the performance. He improved to 3-2 in 2021.
The Mariners (21-22) host the Tigers (16-26) in the third and final game of the series at 10:10 p.m. EDT Wednesday at T-Mobile Park. The Tigers are going for a road sweep.