Verlander flirts with fourth career no-hitter in win

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Justin Verlander missed out on his fourth no-hitter by five outs but still faced the minimum through eight innings, and the Houston Astros beat the Minnesota Twins 5-0 Tuesday night for their eighth straight win.

Twins third baseman Gio Urshela singled to right field with one out in the eighth to end Verlander’s bid. The 39-year-old right-hander, in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, finished the eighth by getting Royce Lewis to ground into a double play.

Verlander was vying to tie Sandy Koufax for second on the career no-hitter list. Nolan Ryan holds the record with seven.

It was Verlander’s eighth career no-hit bid of 7-plus innings, which ties him with Randy Johnson for the second-most by any pitcher in the expansion era (since 1961), trailing only Nolan Ryan (23), according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

After pitching just once in 2020 and missing the entire 2021 season with an elbow injury, Verlander has been stellar so far in 2022. Tuesday’s start moved him to 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA through six starts.

Verlander struck out five and walked two on 89 pitches. Blake Taylor pitched the ninth for Houston.

Verlander was perfect through four innings before allowing a leadoff walk to Jorge Polanco in the fifth. Verlander got Urshela to tap into a double play one pitch later to retire Polanco.

The right-hander walked Minnesota’s No. 9 hitter, Gilberto Celestino, in the sixth, but Celestino was later thrown out at second base.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: ESPN MLB


Author: Ellen Garcia