Justin Verlander, matched against another solid Cy Young candidate, Jered Weaver, was working on a game Sunday afternoon in Detroit that would have made him the member of a very exclusive club. Only four men have thrown two no-hitters in one season: Johnny Vander Meer of the Reds in 1938, Allie Reynolds of the Yankees in 1951, Virgil Trucks of the Tigers in 1952 and Nolan Ryan of the Angels in 1973.
Or, I should say, he was matching up against Weaver; Weaver was tossed from the game after throwing at Alex Avila, supposedly because Carlos Guillen stood and admired the home run he hit off Weaver to make the score 3-0 Tigers. Weaver had been warned after Guillen's home run, so that resulted in an immediate ejection for both Weaver and manager Mike Scioscia.
Verlander, who threw a no-no against the Blue Jays on May 7, completed seven no-hit innings against the Angels. Erick Aybar led off the eighth inning and reached on a throwing error by Verlander on a bunt attempt, winding up at second base. Verlander could have thrown out Aybar with a good throw, but sailed the ball down the right-field line.
Mark Trumbo grounded out to first base on a 100 MPH fastball, advancing Aybar to third. Then, Peter Bourjos grounded to third; Aybar got caught in a rundown, but Verlander dropped a relay throw, allowing Aybar to score. A second error was charged to Verlander, and Bourjos reached second base.
But Maicer Izturis broke up the no-hitter with an RBI single, scoring Bourjos, which made the score 3-2 Tigers, and the game continued with Verlander still pitching. On the throw to the plate, Izturis took second base. Verlander struck out Torii Hunter to end the inning with that 3-2 lead.