DETROIT – Justin Verlander lost a bid for his third no-hitter when Chris Iannetta lined a leadoff double in the ninth inning that landed barely fair on the left-field line, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-0 Wednesday night.
Trying to become the sixth major leaguer to throw three no-hitters, Verlander settled instead for a one-hit shutout.
He was an inch away from so much more.
Iannetta's shot kicked up chalk and rolled into the left-field corner. Verlander attempted to will it foul with body English, then arched his back in disappointment after the ball hit right on the line.
Verlander (2-6) retired the next three batters to finish his seventh career shutout and first since May 18, 2012, against Pittsburgh. The righthander struck out nine and walked two in his first win since July 29.
He faced only 28 hitters — one more than the minimum — after inducing double plays following both walks.
After the game, he thanked the fans.
"They've had my back the whole time," he said.
Verlander walked David Murphy on four pitches to start the eighth, then fell behind 2-0 on Erick Aybar before getting a double-play grounder.
Verlander struck out five consecutive batters before Murphy's walk, including Mike Trout looking at a breaking ball for the second out in the seventh. Albert Pujols then went down swinging at an inside fastball.
Verlander's most recent no-hitter came at Toronto on May 7, 2011. He also pitched one against Milwaukee on June 12, 2007.
In losing the no-hitter in the ninth inning, Verlander joined teammate Anibal Sanchez as the only active pitchers who have lost two no-hit bids in the ninth inning — according to the Elias Sports Bureau.