Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/25/12

There are three pitchers in the American League to have pitched at least eight innings as many as eight times this season,

Two of them have won the last two Cy Young Awards: Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander.

The third is Rangers LHP Matt Harrison.

In an 8-0 win over Minnesota, Harrison flirted with a no-hitter, but in the end settled for a two-hit, eight-inning effort. It was his second consecutive eight-inning, two-hit effort and pushed him to a new career-high of 15 wins.

"He's definitely the story," said 3B Adrian Beltre, who recorded the second cycle of his career. "He was terrific. He's been pitching like an ace all year. Tonight, I thought he might really get the no-hitter the way he was hitting corners.

"Put it this way: I wasn't thinking about the cycle until my last at-bat," added Beltre. "But I was thinking about the no-hitter from the second inning on. He was special."

Harrison did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the seventh inning when Trevor Plouffe punched a single through the left side. It came four pitches after LF David Murphy made a swan-dive catch to preserve the no-hitter a little longer.

The thing is Harrison is working on a full-body of work, not just a one-time performance. He now ranks in the AL's top 10 in wins (tied for third), innings pitched (seventh at 169) and ERA (tied for seventh at 3.04).

It puts him at least on the fringes of the Cy Young discussion. But there is also this: Harrison is finishing faster than the other contenders. Since May 22, his 11 wins are tied for first in the AL; his 2.16 ERA ranks second, as does his 120.2 innings.

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