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Sanchez flirts with no-hitter for Marlins

MIAMI -- Fortified by his mother's pancakes, Anibal Sanchez was unhittable for 100 pitches yesterday.

Sanchez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out a career-high 11 to help the Florida Marlins salvage the final game of their series against Washington, 8-0.

The announced crowd of 10,523 included Sanchez's mother, Evelia, visiting from Venezuela.

"She made me breakfast this morning, so that's why I threw a game like that," Sanchez said.

But shouldn't he be the one doing the cooking on Mother's Day? "I'm supposed to," he said with a smile, "but I'm the baby."

Washington's first hit came on the 101st pitch from Sanchez, when Laynce Nix led off the seventh with a line single to right, just beyond the reach of a diving Mike Stanton.

Sanchez (2-1) allowed two hits and walked none in seven innings before departing after throwing 117 pitches on a sunny, 86-degree afternoon. Manager Edwin Rodriguez jokingly blamed the conditions for belatedly realizing how well Sanchez was pitching.

"In the sixth inning I didn't know there was a no-hitter going," Rodriguez said. "It took me by surprise. My pitching coach and bench coach let me know. They thought I was kidding, but I didn't know. It was hot out there."

The performance was pivotal for the Marlins (20-13), who broke a three-game losing streak. They're still off to the best start in franchise history heading into a three-game series beginning today against NL East leader Philadelphia.

Sanchez threw a no-hitter as a rookie in 2006, and he took one into the ninth inning April 22 against Colorado before Dexter Fowler broke it up with none out.

He improved to 6-0 with an ERA of 2.16 in 15 career starts against Washington.

Gaby Sanchez, using a pink bat and pink shoes in observance of the holiday, hit a three-run homer, doubled twice, singled and scored three runs.

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