Published May 07, 2011
TORONTO – He's only a rookie, but J.P. Arencibia showed the poise of a seasoned veteran in working a walk against Justin Verlander.
Arencibia's walk was the only blemish on Verlander's line Saturday. The Tigers ace threw his second career no-hitter and the second in the major leagues this week, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 9-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Even Verlander was impressed by Arencibia's patience in working a 12-pitch walk in the eighth inning.
"Amazing at-bat, especially for a young guy like himself," Verlander said. "He laid off some good pitches, he fouled off some good pitches. I can't say enough about the way he battled."
Arencibia called Verlander's performance "unbelievable," but said he felt comfortable standing in against the right-hander.
"I was seeing the ball pretty well," Arencibia said. "I took it right away. I felt it was a ball. If they would have called something differently, I don't know how much of an argument they would have got out of me."
Even Verlander wasn't interested in debating plate umpire Jerry Meals' call on the full-count pitch.
"Right out of my fingertips, I knew it was just a hair outside and it was," he said. "It was a ball and you've got to give Jerry a 'Good job.' He called it a ball and it was."
Verlander (3-3) struck out 12 in his first no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers on June 12, 2007. This time, he fanned Rajai Davis to end it for his fourth strikeout of the game. The overpowering right-hander threw 108 pitches, 74 for strikes, against a Blue Jays lineup missing ailing slugger Jose Bautista.
"It was as good as it gets," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He just missed by inches of being perfect. It really doesn't get any better than that. That's great stuff."
Minnesota's Francisco Liriano pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
It was the 17th time there have been two major league no-hitters within a five-day span and the first since Al Leiter for Florida against Colorado on May 11, 1996, and Dwight Gooden for the New York Yankees against Seattle on May 14, according to STATS LLC.
This was the fourth time the Blue Jays have been no-hit since entering the AL in 1977. The last was by Texas' Nolan Ryan, who threw his record seventh no-hitter to beat the Blue Jays on May 1, 1991.
Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero (2-4), who has lost four of his past five starts, allowed six runs and five hits in 3 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out two.
Romero was scratched from his last start Thursday at Tampa Bay with soreness in his left side, and pushed back two days to face the Tigers.
NOTES: Bautista, who has missed the past four games with a stiff neck, took batting practice before the game and remains on track to return to the lineup Sunday. ... Toronto activated 2B Aaron Hill (right hamstring) off the 15-day DL and optioned INF Mike McCoy to Triple-A Las Vegas. ... The Tigers have at least one extra-base hit in all 34 games this season. Detroit opened the 1986 season with extra-base hits in their first 51 games, the longest streak in team history. ... Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin attended the game.