R.A. Dickey, AJ Griffin, John Lackey, Scott Kazmir, Felix Hernandez highlight stellar pitching day

USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday was filled with superb pitching performances around the league, but five starters stood out from the rest.

The MLB saw a number of superb pitching performances on Wednesday with a career strikeout high, a no-hitter flirtation, and a first career complete game along with other performances that were great on their own merit.

R.A. Dickey had arguably the best outing of the day, pitching a complete game two-hit shutout against the Tampa Bay Rays. The 38-year-old struck out six hitters while walking just one. The performance was Dickey's best since being traded to the Blue Jays in the off-season. The only Tampa Bay hitters to reach base safely were James Loney and Yunel Escobar with a single apiece and Desmond Jennings, who drew the walk. Dickey only needed 93 pitches to finish the game. The Rays received a decent outing of their own from Roberto Hernandez, who allowed three runs on six hits over eight innings.

John Lackey was on his game today as he tied a career high by sitting down 12 Colorado Rockies over seven innings. Lackey allowed two runs on eight hits, including a Michael Cuddyer solo home run. He first struck out 12 set back on Sept. 21, 2008, when he was pitching for the Angels. He allowed just two hits against the Texas Rangers that day while pitching just six innings.

A.J. Griffin also achieved a milestone in his career as he threw his first complete game against the Cincinnati Reds. Griffin held the Reds scoreless as he allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out seven batters. Both walks came in the first inning, but Griffin spread the hits out with one in the fifth and one in the seventh. Griffin has pitched eight innings twice in his career thus far, but had never recorded an out in the ninth until Wednesday.

The Indians saw Scott Kazmir flirt with a no-hitter against the Orioles before allowing a double to Manny Machado, the first hitter of the seventh inning. That was the Kazmir's only hit allowed on the night as he was pulled in favor of a reliever following that frame. Machado would come around to score an unearned run after an error and a sacrifice fly. Kazmir struck out four hitters and also gave up one walk.

Finally, out in Seattle, Felix Hernandez did Felix Hernandez things, striking out eleven Pittsburgh Pirates hitters over seven innings in a pitching duel with Jeanmar Gomez. Hernandez allowed two earned runs on six hits and two walks. Both runs scored on a Neil Walker home run in the fourth. Gomez had a nice day of his own, pitching five shutout innings while allowing just three hits.

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