Verlander tosses 3rd no-hitter
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.
Astros ace Justin Verlander celebrates after the final out of his no-hitter Sunday.