September 1, 2019 / 8:08 PM / 3 months ago

Astros take series in Toronto behind Verlander's no-no

EditorsNote: fixes punctuation in first graph, other minor edits

Sep 1, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A young Houston Astros fan waits for the start of a game between the Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander threw the third no-hitter of his career to lead the visiting Houston Astros to a 2-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays in the rubber game of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Verlander, who threw his second career no-hitter in Toronto on May 7, 2011, as a member of the Detroit Tigers, walked Cavan Biggio with one out in the first inning, but then retired the final 26 batters in a row.

Verlander (17-5) struck out 14 and walked one on 120 pitches. He hadn’t beaten the Blue Jays since 2013, going 0-4 in his past five starts against them with a 6.07 ERA.

Abraham Toro hit a two-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth to break the scoreless tie off Ken Giles (2-3).

Verlander, an eight-time All Star and 2011 American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player award winner, threw his first no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers on June 12, 2007. That was also as a member of the Tigers.

He entered Sunday leading the AL in ERA (2.69) and innings (184), and second in wins (16) and strikeouts (243).

Wilmer Font started for the Blue Jays and threw two shutout innings. He allowed the lone hit for either team through the first six innings, striking out three and walking one.

Sam Gaviglio didn’t allow a hit and struck out three in three shutout innings. Zack Godley followed with three more shutout innings for Toronto before handing the ball to Ken Giles for the ninth.

Verlander ended the fourth by striking out Justin Smoak for his 250th strikeout of the season. He also struck out the side in the eighth.

Astros first baseman Aledmys Diaz doubled to lead off the second, but he was stranded at third as Toronto pitchers retired 16 in a row before Yordan Alvarez lined a single up the middle with one out in the seventh off Godley.

Astros shortstop Alex Bregman dropped a broken-bat double down the line in shallow right to lead off the ninth. Alvarez struck out and Diaz flew out to center before Toro hit his opposite-field homer.

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