TORONTO — Justin Verlander threw his second career no-hitter and the second in the big leagues this week, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 9-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
Verlander barely missed a perfect game. The only runner he allowed came with one out in the eighth inning when J.P. Arencibia walked on a full count, with Verlander’s 12th pitch to the rookie just an inch or two outside.
Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Verlander struck out 12 in his first no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers on June 12, 2007. This time, he fanned Rajai Davis to end it for his fourth strikeout of the game. The overpowering right-hander threw 108 pitches, 74 for strikes.
Blue Jays rookie David Cooper popped to second on Verlander’s first pitch of the ninth. John McDonald followed with a grounder to second. With the crowd of 23,453 standing and cheering, Davis ended it by striking out swinging on a 2-2 pitch from the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year.
Verlander calmly pumped his fist and smiled, then shared a hug with catcher Alex Avila before being mobbed by teammates near the mound. He was doused with a bucket of ice water by reliever Jose Valverde.
Avila and Jhonny Peralta homered for the Tigers, who have won four of five.
Detroit almost had a perfect game June 2 last season, but umpire Jim Joyce’s blown call at first base robbed Armando Galarraga with two outs in the ninth inning. Galarraga finished with a one-hitter.
Prior to Verlander, the last Detroit pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Jack Morris, who did it at Comiskey Park against the Chicago White Sox on April 7, 1984.