Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers looks to right field after striking out Neil Walker of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh inning during the game at Comerica Park on May 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Justin Verlander's Bid For Third No-Hitter Ends In Ninth Inning

On Friday night, Justin Verlander came within two outs of becoming the sixth pitcher in major-league history to throw three no-hitters.

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Justin Verlander's No-Hitter Broken Up With 1 Out In Ninth

Justin Verlander was going for his third career no-hitter in Detroit on Friday night.

He would join Nolan Ryan (seven), Sandy Koufax (four), Cy Young (three), Bob Feller (three), and Larry Corcoran (three) as the only pitchers in major-league history to throw more than two if he could complete the ninth inning without allowing a hit. He entered the ninth having thrown 95 pitches, 66 for strikes.

Suspense! Follow along.

The leadoff batter was No. 9 hitter Michael McKenry, the Pirates’ catcher. McKenry hit a 3-2 ground ball to shortstop and Jhonny Peralta threw him out.

Next was Josh Harrison, serving as designated hitter. Verlander ran the count to 0-2, partly on Harrison’s swing at a pitch in the dirt, and then after an inside pitch made the count 1-2, Harrison laced a soft line drive up the middle to break up the no-hitter.

The crowd gave Verlander a nice ovation, and he eventually completed a one-hit shutout over the Pirates; the Tigers won 6-0.

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Justin Verlander's No-Hit Bid Complete Through 8 Innings

Through seven innings, the Detroit TigersJustin Verlander had no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates, issuing just two walks, one to Neil Walker and one to Andrew McCutchen, with nine strikeouts. He had thrown 82 pitches, 57 for strikes. The Tigers made two defensive replacements: Ramon Santiago at second base, and Ryan Raburn moving to right field from second base, replacing Brennan Boesch.

So, onward the game went into the top of the eighth in Detroit. Excitement building!

The leadoff hitter was Casey McGehee, the Pirates’ first baseman. Verlander struck him out on three pitches for his 10th strikeout.

Next up: Nate McLouth, who had grounded out in his first two times at bat. Verlander ran the count to 3-1 before getting McLouth swinging on a 99 mile-per-hour fastball. Verlander’s velocity seems to be getting higher as the game continues.

His first pitch to Clint Barmes was a 100 mile-per-hour fastball for strike one. After ball one, Barmes swung at an 82 mile-per-hour changeup in the dirt and struck out swinging on another ball out of the zone.

That gives Verlander 12 K’s in eight innings and three outs to go for history.

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