Astros ace Justin Verlander throws third career no-hitter, strikes out 14 in dominant outing vs. Blue Jays

Justin Verlander recorded the 13th no-hitter in Houston Astros franchise history and the third of his career Sunday against the Blue Jays. Verlander allowed only one baserunner on a walk in the first inning. It was the Astros' second no-hitter of the last month, as they kept the Seattle Mariners hit-less on Aug. 3 as part of a combined effort by Aaron Sanchez, Will Harris, Joe Biagini, and Chris Devenski.

Sunday's game had been scoreless entering the ninth inning. Houston rookie Abraham Toro-Hernandez hit a two-run, two-out home run in the top of the ninth to give Houston a 2-0 lead. Cavan Biggio, the second hitter of the game for the Jays, was the only batter to reach base. He drew a five-pitch walk.

Verlander threw 120 pitches on the afternoon, with 77 of them registering as fastballs. He generated 23 swinging strikes, including 15 on his heater. He also coerced seven whiffs on his breaking balls. Overall, he struck out 14 batters, including the side in the eighth inning. More than 65 percent of Verlander's pitches went for strikes.

Verlander's third career no-no puts him in some elite pitching company. It ties him for the third-most all-time behind Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax. His first came against the Milwaukee Brewers in June 2007, while his second was also in Toronto in May 2011. He is the first pitcher in history to throw two no-hitters on the road against the same franchise, and just the third pitcher to ever throw multiple no-nos against the same team:

Verlander entered the afternoon as one of the top contenders for the American League Cy Young Award, having posted a 2.69 ERA (167 ERA+) and 7.15 strikeout-to-walk ratio across his first 28 starts and 184 innings. Should Verlander win the Cy, it would be the second of his career, with his first coming in 2011.

Verlander's effort is the 303rd no-hitter in big-league history, and the fourth of the season. Oddly, all four have been thrown by American League West teams: two by the Astros, one by the Oakland Athletics (Mike Fiers), and the other by the Los Angeles Angels (Felix Pena and Taylor Cole). 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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