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Justin Verlander pitches no-hitter in Detroit Tigers' 9-0 win over Toronto Blue Jays

TORONTO — With one out to go, Justin Verlander cracked a smile.

He could afford to enjoy the moment; he'd seen this before. So had baseball fans — real recently, in fact.

Verlander pitched his second career no-hitter and the second in the big leagues this past week, leading the Tigers to a 9-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Saturday.

"I was a lot more calm," Verlander said. "Obviously, there's some adrenaline — you can't help it — but having been through this situation before, I was definitely able to calm myself down a little bit easier than last time."

The Twins' Francisco Liriano pitched a no-hitter against the White Sox on Tuesday night.

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.

"It was as good as it gets," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He just missed by inches of being perfect. It really doesn't get any better than that. That's great stuff."

Verlander had no argument with the call by plate umpire Jerry Meals.

"Right out of my fingertips, I knew it was just a hair outside, and it was," he said.

Verlander struck out 12 in a no-hitter against the Brewers on June 12, 2007. This time, he fanned Rajai Davis to end it for his fourth strikeout. The right-hander threw 108 pitches, 74 for strikes.

Mixing fastballs around 100 mph, sharp breaking balls and an effective changeup, Verlander became the 30th major-leaguer to throw multiple career no-hitters, STATS LLC said.

"He was unbelievable," Arencibia said. "Any time on your 106th pitch when you're hitting 100, I'd say it's pretty ridiculous stuff."

David Cooper popped to second on Verlander's first pitch of the ninth. John McDonald followed with a grounder to second, and Verlander flashed a grin. With the crowd of 23,453 standing, Davis ended it by striking out swinging on a 2-and-2 pitch.

Verlander calmly pumped his fist and smiled then hugged catcher Alex Avila before being mobbed near the mound. He was doused with a bucket of ice water by reliever Jose Valverde.

"That was cold," Verlander said. "That and the beer shower I got in here was cold, too."

Tigers 9

Blue Jays 0

Justin Verlander pitches no-hitter in Detroit Tigers' 9-0 win over Toronto Blue Jays 05/07/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 7, 2011 10:50pm]
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