DETROIT (Reuters) - Detroit’s Justin Verlander pitched the first no-hitter of his career on Tuesday to guide the Tigers to a 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The 24-year-old right-hander walked four and struck out a career-high 12 to blank the NL Central-leading Brewers.
It was the second no-hitter of the season after Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox shut down the Texas Rangers on April 18.
“After the first couple of innings, I knew I had good stuff going,” Verlander told reporters.
Verlander’s no-hitter was the Tigers’ first since Jack Morris on April 7, 1984 and the first at home since Virgil Trucks on August 25, 1952. It was the first no-hitter thrown at Detroit’s Comerica Park and only the sixth in Tiger history.
The win pulled the Tigers into a first-place tie with the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.
Verlander (7-2 this season) was clocked regularly at 99 miles per hour throughout the 112-pitch effort and hit 101 on the radar gun in the ninth inning. His team mates also helped him out with some excellent defense.
“He had ridiculous stuff tonight,” said Milwaukee outfielder Corey Hart.
Verlander struck out the first two hitters in the ninth inning and got J.J. Hardy on a fly ball to Magglio Ordonez in right field for the final out, triggering an on-field celebration.
“When I see the starting pitcher jumping up and down and happy, it makes me very proud,” said catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who caught the second no-hitter of his proud career.
“When a pitcher pitches a no-hitter, it’s like the catcher pitches a no-hitter too because you work together.
“It was like winning in the World Series.”
Brandon Inge hit a solo homer and drove in two runs to beat Milwaukee’s Jeff Suppan (7-7).
Verlander, the AL Rookie of the Year last season, was 17-9 in helping the Tigers to the World Series, where they lost to the St Louis Cardinals.
Writing by Mike Shalin in Boston