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Justin Verlander flirts with no-hitter as Tigers beat Indians

DETROIT (Reuters) - Justin Verlander came within five outs of pitching another no-hitter on Tuesday, the Detroit ace settling for a two-hit shutout in the Tigers' 4-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

The red-hot starter was trying to become just the sixth pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a season after he threw one last month.

Verlander took his no-hit bid into the eighth inning where Orlando Cabrera lined a single to end the pitcher's run at the feat, much to the disappointment of the 28,000 home crowd.

"I felt like I could possibly do it again," Verlander told reporters after he was given a rousing ovation following Cabrera's hit.

"I felt really good, was hitting my spots and the crowd was really getting behind me. It was fun."

The right-hander also hurled a no-hitter in 2007. He was trying to join a group of only five pitchers to have three no-hitters in their career.

Verlander blew away the Cleveland hitters with 12 strikeouts on Tuesday to improve his record to 8-3 on the season.

He has not lost since April 27, and his latest effort vaulted the Tigers (37-30) into first place in the American League Central where they have a one-game lead on the Indians (35-30).

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford/Patrick Johnston)