As no-hit bids go, this one was proceeding almost predictably.
Justin Verlander was commanding his pitches brilliantly on the mound. An overmatched Pittsburgh lineup looked powerless against him.
Then, with only two outs separating the Detroit ace from yet another rare achievement, Verlander threw a breaking ball just off the outside corner, and Josh Harrison hit a soft line drive to center field for a single.
''Would I rather it be hard-hit? Of course,'' Verlander said. ''But a hit's a hit's a hit.''
Harrison's ninth-inning single broke up Verlander's latest no-hit bid, but the powerful right-hander was brilliant again for the Tigers, striking out 12 in a 6-0 victory over the Pirates on Friday night. Verlander allowed two walks and settled for his first career one-hitter. He nearly became the sixth major leaguer to throw at least three no-hitters.
The Pirates haven't been no-hit since 1971, when Bob Gibson did it against them for St. Louis. In fact, Pittsburgh has been no-hit ...