Anibal Sanchez was two outs away from pitching a no-hitter Friday night, but Joe Mauer broke up the bid with a single up the middle.
Sanchez fanned 12 Minnesota batters while recording his sixth career shutout, as the Detroit Tigers blanked the Twins, 6-0, at Comerica Park, to send Minnesota to its 10th straight loss.
Sanchez (5-4), who threw 130 pitches, was trying to become the only active pitcher to throw a no-hitter with two different teams. He walked three batters in the one-hit performance.
The right-hander was trying to toss the eighth no-hitter in franchise history. Justin Verlander had thrown the last two, most recently May 7, 2011 in Toronto. It would have been the first no-hitter thrown by a Detroit player other than Verlander since April 7, 1984 when Jack Morris did it against the Chicago White Sox.
"He had a shot at it ... but that was just an unbelievable performance by Sanchez," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Don Kelly had a two-run homer while Miguel Cabrera and Omar Infante drove in two runs apiece for the Tigers, who are on a four-game winning streak.
Samuel Deduno (0-1) made his season debut, allowing six runs on nine hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings for the Twins.
"Their guy (Sanchez) shut us down totally and had great stuff," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. The ball was moving all over the place. Our guys said the ball was really diving, his breaking ball was really sharp. He had good stuff and congratulations to him."
Sanchez gave up a walk in each of the first two innings before settling in and retiring 18 straight batters.
Detroit's offense gave Sanchez the only support he would need in the second inning. Kelly reached first on a fielder's choice prior to Avisail Garcia and Andy Dirks hitting infield singles to load the bases. Infante drew a walk to bring Kelly home. Cabrera then singled to left, scoring Garcia and Dirks.
An inning later, Jhonny Peralta's leadoff single set up Kelly's two-run blast.
The Tigers added one more run in the sixth, when Infante's line drive to left plated Garcia.
The Twins finally got another baserunner in the eighth, when Eduardo Escobar drew a one-out walk. Sanchez, though, retired the next two batters to take his no-hit bid into the ninth.
After striking out Jamey Carroll to begin the ninth, Sanchez gave up the base hit to Mauer. He struck out the final two batters to record his eighth career complete game.
"He (Sanchez) got one hit," said Mauer. "That mean it doesn't take away what he did out there tonight. Sanchez was real great. And obviously, it was nice to get a hit there at the end, but, you know, we still lost."
Cabrera has five straight multi-RBI games ... Mauer has broken up a no-hitter in the ninth inning three times ... There have been five one-hitters this season.