DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander's no-hit bid was finally over in the seventh inning — and before refocusing, the Detroit ace saw his shortstop do something amusing.
"When the double was hit, and the ball came back in, everybody started cheering," Verlander said. "(Jhonny) Peralta caught the ball and looked up at the board checking the hits. That's when I knew he didn't know. I was like, 'Come on, Jhonny.'"
Verlander fell seven outs short of his third career no-hitter, but the Detroit ace looked sharp in his final start before the All-Star break, and the Tigers backed him with three home runs in a 5-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Mitch Moreland's two-out double to right-center broke up Verlander's bid. Verlander (10-6) left the game after the seventh with a tight right quad muscle, having allowed just that one hit and three walks.
"It was just kind of starting to get tight," Verlander said. "There's really no need to push it."
Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta hit solo homers off Texas starter Martin Perez (3-2). The Rangers finished with two hits.
Verlander was picked for the American League All-Star team but was replaced for Tuesday night's event. Under baseball's labor contract, pitchers who start on the Sunday before the All-Star game may opt not to participate.
Although he also took a no-hitter into the seventh at Houston on May 5, Verlander's overpowering aura hasn't been quite the same this season. Sunday's gem lowered his ERA to 3.50.
He struck out only three but was effective anyway.
"It was a little bit different Verlander than what we usually see," Moreland said.