One inning stands between Miami Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez and his first career no-hitter. He's given up zero hits and faced two batters over the minimum through eight frames against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
Alvarez is scheduled to face the pitcher's spot, Don Kelly and Andy Dirks in the top of the ninth. He's made his way through eight innings of no-hit ball mostly through soft contact, keeping his pitch count low. He's thrown 88 pitches through eight innings.
Alvarez only has three strikeouts, one on Tigers starter Justin Verlander. The two batters who reached did so on brief plate appearances: Prince Fielder was plunked with a first-pitch curveball in the first inning, and Jose Iglesias reached on an error in the fifth after hitting the first pitch on the ground to shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.
The 23-year-old, who made his major league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays in Aug. 2011, only has one career complete game, a six-hit shutout of the Los Angeles Angels last season as a member of the Blue Jays.
Sunday's game marks only the second time this season Alvarez has pitched into eighth inning. He's recorded only 16 starts after being unable to make his first start of the season until July 4 due to right shoulder inflammation.
The Tigers did not put their AL Central-winning lineup on the field Sunday as most starters got days off to rest up for the playoffs. Fielder got two plate appearances before being lifted in the fourth inning, while the rest of the Tigers' core -- Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter -- all got full days off.