TORONTO -- Justin Verlander threw his second career no-hitter and the second in the big leagues this week, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 9-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
Verlander barely missed a perfect game. The only runner he allowed came with one out in the eighth inning when J.P. Arencibia walked on a full count, with Verlander's 12th pitch to the rookie an inch or two outside.
Minnesota's Francisco Liriano pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Verlander (3-3) struck out 12 in his first no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers on June 12, 2007. This time, he fanned Rajai Davis to end it for his fourth strikeout of the game. The overpowering right-hander threw 108 pitches, 74 for strikes, against a Blue Jays lineup missing ailing slugger Jose Bautista.
Verlander became the 30th pitcher in major league history to throw multiple career no-hitters.
"Just as good as the first," Verlander said.
Blue Jays rookie David Cooper popped to second on Verlander's first pitch of the ninth. John McDonald followed with a grounder to second, and Verlander flashed a grin. With the crowd standing and cheering, Davis ended it by striking out swinging on a 2-2 pitch from the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year.
Verlander calmly pumped his fist and smiled, then shared a hug with catcher Alex Avila before being mobbed by teammates near the mound. He was doused with a bucket of ice water by reliever Jose Valverde.
"I felt like tonight I had really good control of my fastball, and I just used that to my advantage," Verlander said. "My breaking ball was surprisingly my worst pitch. That's probably indicative of why I didn't have many strikeouts. I was just able to move the ball around and keep guys off balance and get some quick outs."
Verlander's closest brush came in the fifth when Edwin Encarnacion hit a line drive the glanced off the right-hander's arm. Verlander scrambled toward third base to track down the ball and made a hurried throw that first baseman Miguel Cabrera scooped.
"Just off the forearm. It is what it is. I went back there. It kind of knotted up for a second," Verlander said. "Our trainers did a fantastic job. We got some stuff on it -- kind of like a boxer when he gets his eye kind of swollen up."
DP-Detroit 1, Toronto 1. LOB-Detroit 7, Toronto 0. 2B-A.Jackson (5), Raburn (8). HR-Jh.Peralta (2), Avila (6).
HBP-by R.Romero (Avila). WP-R.Romero, Villanueva. Balk-R.Romero. T-2:35. A-23,453 (49,260).