Canadian baseball history was made in the Minnesota Twins’ 11-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians last Friday.
In that contest, Guelph, Ont., native Scott Diamond pitched a complete-game shutout and Justin Morneau, the pride of New Westminster, B.C., homered. This marked the first time in major league history that Canadian teammates have thrown a shutout and belted a home run in the same game.
I was able to confirm this with help from Scott Crawford at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and by reviewing countless box scores over the past several days.
Diamond limited the Indians to three hits and struck out six in his spinning his first career shutout, while Morneau socked his 12th round-tripper of the season. The Canuck first baseman clubbed another homer on Sunday and is now just two four-baggers shy of becoming the fourth Canadian to amass 200 home runs in their big league career. The other three are Larry Walker (383), Matt Stairs (265) and Jason Bay (208).
Here are some other facts about big league shutouts pitched by Canadians:
Thirty-two different Canadians have thrown shutouts in the big leagues.
Fergie Jenkins (Chatham, Ont.) threw 49 shutouts during his 19-year big league career, the most by a Canuck. Russell Ford (Brandon, Man.) is second with 15.
Jenkins came close to pitching a shutout and hitting a home run in the same game. At Shea Stadium on April 25, 1969, Jenkins, then with the Chicago Cubs, homered in the fifth inning off of Tom Seaver and pitched a complete game, holding the New York Mets to six hits and one run in a 3-1 victory.
Nearly 22 years earlier, on August 9, 1947, Penetanguishene, Ont., native Phil Marchildon enjoyed a similar performance. While pitching his Philadelphia Athletics to an 8-1 triumph over Washington at Shibe Park, the fidgety right-hander held the Senators to one run and seven hits in nine innings and registered three hits, including a third-inning home run off of Sid Hudson.
Detroit Tigers left-hander Mike Kilkenny (Bradford, Ont.) tossed four shutout during his big league career and all of them came in a seven-start stretch between August 27 and September 21, 1969.
Toronto native Dick Fowler is the only Canadian to toss a no-hitter in the big leagues. In his first start after returning from military duty, the Philadelphia Athletics right-hander no-hit the St. Louis Browns at Shibe Park on September 9, 1945. The Athletics won the game 1-0 and the contest was completed in just 75 minutes.