DETROIT -- Justin Verlander made an impressive bid to become the second pitcher to throw back-to-back no-hitters before allowing an RBI triple to Melky Cabrera of the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning of Detroit 3-1 win Friday night.
In his first start since throwing a no-hitter at Toronto on Saturday, Verlander pitched 5 2/3 hitless innings before Cabrera sent a line drive to the gap in right-center field. Verlander was trying to equal Cincinnati's Johnny Vander Meer, who threw two straight no-hitters in 1938.
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Verlander (4-3) settled for another outstanding outing, allowing a run on two hits and three walks in eight innings. He struck out seven.
Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
Before Friday's game, Detroit manager Jim Leyland said he wanted to downplay Verlander's previous no-hitter as much as possible, with the hard-throwing right-hander about to take the mound again.
"I think today, the less talk about the no-hitter, the better off we are - for tonight," Leyland said. "I just don't think tonight's the night to be making a big deal about it."
Sure enough, aside from a few fans who stood and applauded him during pregame introductions, there was little acknowledgment of Verlander's feat before Detroit's first home game since the no-hitter.
Leyland may have been onto something, because Verlander took the mound looking as calm as he did last weekend in Toronto. He retired the first three batters he faced before walking Billy Butler to start the second inning. He didn't allow another baserunner until the sixth.
When Mike Aviles grounded out to end the top of the fifth, the crowd behind the Detroit dugout gave Verlander a standing ovation as he walked back. He was over halfway to another no-hitter.
He then struck out Matt Treanor to start the sixth. After a walk to Alcides Escobar and a groundout by Chris Getz, Cabrera finally hit a ball nobody could reach. Right fielder Brennan Boesch had no chance to make a play, and the crowd gave Verlander a standing ovation as he composed himself before facing the next hitter.
He got another standing ovation after striking out Alex Gordon to end the inning -- and then another one when Mike Aviles was caught looking to end the seventh. Aviles immediately flung his bat away in exasperation.
Treanor led off the eighth with a double that eluded a diving Boesch, but Verlander retired the next three hitters easily before leaving after 105 pitches.
Vander Meer threw his no-hitters in June of 1938. The first was against the Boston Braves and the second was at Brooklyn in the first night game played at Ebbets Field.
Jackson led off the bottom of the first with a line drive over the wall in left-center, and Alex Avila drove in a run in the second with a groundball. Peralta's homer in the fourth made it 3-0.
Hochevar went six innings, allowing seven hits. He walked three -- one intentionally -- and struck out three.
Verlander gave up a hit in his final inning of his last start before last weekend's no-hitter -- against the Yankees on May 2.
- Detroit's Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
- Jackson was thrown out at the plate in the third, trying to score from second on Boesch's single to right.