Astros ace makes history against Blue Jays | News Coverage from USA

Astros ace makes history against Blue Jays

Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander threw the third no-hitter of his career Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays, and he needed some ninth-inning heroics to make it happen.

The Astros notched the only runs of the game — in a 2-0 win — with two outs in the top of the ninth inning via a two-run home run from rookie Abraham Toro, who was in the lineup only because Yuli Gurriel was a late scratch. It was Toro’s eighth career major league game.

Verlander struck out 14 hitters and walked one — in the first inning — in his masterpiece. He threw 120 pitches. 

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Verlander also no-hit the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on May 7, 2011 with the Detroit Tigers, becoming the third pitcher to no-hit the same team twice, according to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs, who also reported he’s the first pitcher to no-hit the same team twice on the road.

Verlander’s first no-no came in 2007 against the Milwaukee Brewers while with the Tigers.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know the list of guys that have thrown three instead of two gets pretty small, some of the guys I idolized. It’s a special moment,” Verlander said after joining a group with only three other pitchers, all of them in the Hall of Fame.

Nolan Ryan holds the major league record with seven career no-hitters, followed by Sandy Koufax with four and Bob Feller with three.

The Astros had also thrown Major League Baseball’s most recent no hitter when four pitchers — Aaron Sanchez, Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski — combined to no-hit the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 3.

“It’s such an incredible moment,” Verlander said. “It’s something that you get to celebrate with your teammates, which other than a World Series and winning championships, these team victories like this are few and far between.”

Verlander has a 17-5 record, 2.56 ERA and 0.77 WHIP this season with 257 strikeouts in 193 innings.

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