Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander made yet another bid to get his third career no-hitter and the second one of this season. It came up short, however, thanks to a hit by Maicer Izturis in the eighth inning.
There was some serious craziness in the moments leading up to Verlander's no-hitter being broken up. First, Angels starter Jered Weaver was ejected in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Carlos Guillen hit a home run, he admired it and stared Weaver down as he ran to first. Weaver was already upset from Magglio Ordonez admiring his home run earlier in the game, although to be fair to Ordonez, he may have just been making sure it stayed fair.
In any case, both teams were issued warnings immediately after the home run. Weaver didn't care, though. He threw the very next pitch at Alex Avila's head and was promptly ejected. He threw a tantrum and yelled at the Tigers dugout on his way off the field and set up what occurred in the top of the eighth.
Erick Aybar led off the inning for the Angels with a bunt. Although this was only a three-run game and Aybar commonly bunts for hits, it goes against baseball etiquette to bunt when an opposing pitcher is throwing a no-hitter. Of course, baseball etiquette went out the window with Guillen admiring his home run, and the Angels were still trying to win the game. In that regard the bunt worked, because Aybar got on base thanks to a throwing error by Verlander.
The no-hitter was still intact, but things got even crazier when Aybar got caught in a rundown and managed to score. The ball was hit right to Don Kelly, and rather than take the out at first, he tried to get Aybar going from third to home (Aybar previously advanced to second on the throwing error and to third on a ground out). The Tigers got Aybar in a rundown, but he scored and put the Angels on the board. The play was ruled a fielder's choice, so the no-hitter continued. Verlander struck out the next batter, but then Izturis came up and singled to left field.
The Izturis hit not only broke up the no-hitter, but the Angels scored a run to cut the lead down to 3-2. Things appeared to be getting a little dicey after all that had transpired, but Verlander got out of the inning by striking out the next batter, Torii Hunter. Jose Valverde then came in and got the save, giving the Tigers a 3-2 win.
It's pretty remarkable that Verlander once again made it to the eighth inning with a no-hitter. Obviously it's disappointing that he was unable to complete it for the third time in his career, but the important thing is the Tigers won and Verlander crushed Weaver in Sunday's duel.