Mario Soto (born July 12, 1956 in Bani, Dominican Republic) is a former Major League pitcher, mostly a starter, for the Cincinnati Reds from 1977 through 1988.
The Dominican right-hander threw quite hard. From 1981 to 1985, Soto had more strike outs than any major league pitcher, including a club-record 274 in 1982.
On October 4, 1981, Soto came very close to a no-hitter, giving up just one hit in a 3-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. Chris Chambliss's single in the 2nd inning was the only hit. However, this was not the closest Soto ever came to no-hitting a team. On May 12, 1984, against the St. Louis Cardinals, he was one out away from a no-hitter, when George Hendrick hit a home run with 2 outs in the 9th. The Reds did go on to win it in the bottom of the 9th, 2-1.
In 1983, he lost a close vote to John Denny for Cy Young Award. That year, and the year after, were arguably Soto's two best seasons. Together in the two season, he was 35-20 with a 2.92 ERA, marking his spot as the Reds ace.
After he became innefective, he was released, and injuries plagued any chance of a comeback with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In a 12-season career, all for Cincinnati, he was 100-92 with a 3.47 ERA in 297 games, 224 of them starts. He had 72 career complete games and 13 shutouts. He allowed 667 earned runs and struck out 1449 batters in 1730 and 1/3 innings pitched.