Ver­lan­der tosses 3rd no-hit­ter

The Morning Call - - BASEBALL -

TORONTO — Justin Ver­lan­der pitched his third ca­reer no-hit­ter, punc­tu­at­ing a dom­i­nant sea­son by strik­ing out 14 to lead the Astros past the Blue Jays 2-0 on Sun­day.

Ver­lan­der is just the sixth pitcher in ma­jor league his­tory to throw at least three no-hit­ters.

The right-han­der be­came the first pitcher to throw two no-hit­ters as a vis­i­tor in the same park — he also threw one at Rogers Cen­tre in 2011 with the Tigers. His other no-no was in 2007 for the Tigers against the Brew­ers.

Ver­lan­der al­lowed only one run­ner, with Ca­van Big­gio draw­ing a one-out walk in the first in­ning. The Blue Jays, with a lineup full of young, ag­gres­sive bat­ters, never came close to a hit.

“I can’t put it into words,” Ver­lan­der said, shortly af­ter the fi­nal out.

Ver­lan­der, 36, joined Nolan Ryan (seven), Sandy Ko­ufax (four) and Bob Feller, Cy Young and 1880s-era Larry Cor­co­ran (three) in rar­efied air on the no-hit­ter list.

“Some of the guys I’ve idol­ized,” Ver­lan­der said.

The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award win­ner threw a sea­son-high 120 pitches, mix­ing a fast­ball that reached the up­per 90s mph with a sharp curve.

Ver­lan­der re­tired the last 26 hit­ters in a row. But he still needed help be­cause the game was score­less go­ing into the last in­ning — Ver­lan­der had to pitch a com­plete game to get credit for a no-hit­ter.

That’s when Cana­di­an­born rookie Abra­ham Toro hit a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth in­ning that cleared the way for Ver­lan­der to com­plete the no-hit­ter.

VAUGHN RI­D­LEY/GETTY

Astros ace Justin Ver­lan­der cel­e­brates af­ter the fi­nal out of his no-hit­ter Sun­day.

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