Justin Verlander carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and the Houston Astros cruised to a 5-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.
The 39-year-old right-hander came within five outs of recording his fourth career no-hitter, which would have matched him with Sandy Koufax for second place on the all-time list.
Gio Urshela spoiled Verlander’s bid when he singled to right field with one out in the eighth.
Verlander (4-1) walked two and struck out five while allowing just the one hit in eight innings. He won his fourth decision in a row and lowered his ERA to 1.55.
Jeremy Pena and Alex Bregman finished with two RBIs apiece for the Astros, who won their eighth game in a row.
Minnesota, which was shut out for the fourth time this season, saw its three-game winning streak end.
Twins right-hander Joe Ryan (3-2) gave up four runs on four hits in four-plus innings. He walked five and struck out three.
The Astros opened the scoring with a run in the second inning. Yuli Gurriel hit a leadoff single, advanced to second on a walk, went to third on a flyout and came home on a Pena’s groundout.
In the fourth, the Astros increased their lead to 2-0. Pena notched his second RBI when he ripped a single to right field to drive in Kyle Tucker, who reached on a one-out walk before stealing second base.
A two-run fifth doubled the lead. Bregman belted an RBI double to deep left field to score Jose Altuve, and Yordan Alvarez recorded a sacrifice fly to bring home Michael Brantley.
Bregman struck again in the sixth with a sacrifice fly to score Pena.
Twins shortstop Carlos Correa, who spent seven seasons with Houston before leaving via free agency in the offseason, did not face his former team. Correa was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game because of a bruised right middle finger.
With three career no-hitters, Verlander remains in a four-way tie for third place in big-league history alongside Bob Feller, Cy Young and Larry Corcoran. Nolan Ryan is the all-time leader with seven no-hitters.
–Field Level Media