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Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton celebrates after pitching a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday.Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports

With their closer out, fighting the criminal justice system, the Toronto Blue Jays were in desperate need of a good-news pick-me-up from struggling starter Marcus Stroman.

They didn’t get it.

Instead, it was James Paxton who would steal the spotlight – and then some – becoming just the second Canadian in Major League Baseball history to throw a no-hitter.

And the fact he accomplished it against the Toronto Blue Jays, Canada’s only major-league club, made it seem that much more appropriate.

Behind the flame-throwing lefty from Ladner, B.C., the Seattle Mariners would go on to trounce the Blue Jays 5-0 in the first of a three-game series at Rogers Centre.

By the end of the game, the almost 21,000 on hand for the game were obviously more interested in Paxton accomplishing that rare feat than they were in any Blue Jays comeback, which was never in the offing.

Paxton was in command the entire way, but got some timely help in the latter innings from his defence.

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Paxton pitches against the Blue Jays in the first inning.Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

In the bottom of the seventh, Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager ranged to his right to make a spectacular diving stab of a hot one-hopper off the bat of Kevin Pillar.

Seager then made an accurate one-hop throw that was dug out of the dirt at first by Ryon Healy just in time to nab the Toronto baserunner.

Then in the bottom of the eighth, more defensive acrobatics as Seattle leftfielder Ben Gamel went up against the wall to rob Russell Martin before a Kendrys Morales sinking liner was gloved by Dee Gorden in centre.

In the ninth, Paxton was not fooling around, his fastball still clocking in at 98 miles an hour. He got Anthony Alford to fly out and struck out Teoscar Hernandez before Josh Donaldson grounded out to secure Paxton’s place in Canadian pitching lore.

After the Donaldson ground out, Paxton raised both hands in the air in celebration as he was mobbed on the mound by his teammates.

It was the fifth no-hitter twirled against the Blue Jays in franchise history – the first since Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers turned the trick on May 7, 2011, in a 9-0 whitewashing at Rogers Centre.

Even more impressive, Paxton became just the second Canadian to pitch a no-hitter. Toronto’s Dick Fowler was the first back in 1945, when he tossed a 1-0 shutout for the Philadelphia Athletics in a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Browns.

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Paxton is congratulated by Mariners teammates after the game.Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

It was a long day for the Blue Jays that started off with the troubling news that Roberto Osuna, the team’s star closer, had been charged by Toronto police for assault.

Major League Baseball reacted swiftly, immediately placing Osuna on administrative leave for seven days while commencing its own independent investigation as per the guidelines of its domestic violence policy.

Ross Atkins, the Blue Jays general manager, said the seven-day sit-down – with pay – is just the default until MLB concludes its investigation. It could be longer, he said, it could be shorter.

Afterwards, MLB could determine to slap Osuna with a suspension if it felt it was warranted, independent of the criminal process.

“I think what we’ve seen over the last couple of years is Major League Baseball has taken very strong stances on situations like this one,” Atkins said, perhaps somewhat forebodingly.

To fill Osuna’s vacancy in the lineup, the Blue Jays recalled right-hander Jake Petricka from Triple-A Buffalo.

As for the closer’s role, Gibbons professed to have faith in the likes of Ryan Tepera, Seunghwan Oh and John Axford, who have all handled the high-leverage spot in the past.

Walks have been Stroman’s undoing this season, and such was the case on Tuesday when he provided a free pass to Ben Gamel, Seattle’s No. 9 hitter, leading off the third.

Gamel went to third on a double by Dee Gordon and then scored on an infield out by Robinson Cano.

With two out in the inning and Gordon now on third, Gordon would cross home plate to make the score 2-0 on a flare into shallow right off the bat of Nelson Cruz.

The bleeding continued in the fourth inning when Seattle tagged on a couple more courtesy of a two-run home run shot delivered by Mike Zunino.

Zunino swatted a 2-1 Stroman offering the other way to right field, his fifth round-tripper of the season, to bring the score to 4-0.

Stroman, who has yet to win in seven outings this year, was rocked for five runs off nine Seattle hits over five innings of work. His earned-run average on the season is now 7.71.

It was more than enough cushion for Paxton, who entered the game on quite a roll, having struck out 49 in his previous five outings.

That punch-out tally included a career-high 16 strikeouts in his last outing on May 2 against Oakland. The 16 strikeouts represent a single-game MLB high for a Canadian-born pitcher.

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