TOKYO (AP) -- American Rick Guttormson threw a no-hitter on Thursday, becoming the 72nd pitcher in the history of Japan professional baseball to do so.
Guttormson, a 29-year-old right-hander from Torrance, Calif., struck out nine and gave up one walk in a 139-pitch effort as the Yakult Swallows defeated the Rakuten Golden Eagles 6-0 at Tokyo's Jingu Stadium.
"It's an amazing feeling, I can't explain it," said Guttormson, who was mobbed by his teammates on the mound after getting the last Rakuten batter to fly out to left field.
Guttormson, who has no major league experience, joined the Swallows last season when he went 8-5 with the Central League team.
Thursday's no-hitter was the first of his pro career.
"I started to think about the no-hitter around the third inning," said Guttormson. "Everyone on the bench stopped talking to me after the sixth inning."
Former Cleveland Indians players Greg LaRocca and Alex Ramirez both hit two-run homers to give Guttormson plenty of run support.
LaRocca connected in the first inning and Ramirez added two more runs in the fifth with his eighth homer of the season.
"We got some runs early and that gave me something to work with," added Guttormson, who improved to 4-2 on the season. "I just tried to throw a lot of strikes and put the hitters on the defensive."
Yakult shortstop Shinya Miyamoto committed an error to allow Koichi Isobe to reach base in the first inning and Katsumi Yama****a drew a walk in the fifth before Guttormson retired the final 13 Rakuten batters.
After the game, Yakult manager Atsuya Furuta presented Guttormson with the winning ball.
Guttormson became the first pitcher in Japanese baseball to throw a no-hitter since Kei Igawa of the Hanshin Tigers achieved the feat in 2004. He is also the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the history of Interleague baseball in Japan.
139 pitches? OMG that's Dusty Baker like.