MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander is six outs away from completing his fourth career no-hitter.
Verlander has pitched seven hitless innings on 76 pitches against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night, walking two and striking out four.
The 39-year-old's previous no-hitter came in 2019 against Toronto, and he also threw two with the Detroit Tigers. Nolan Ryan holds the major league record with seven no-hitters. Sandy Koufax ranks second with four.
Verlander was perfect through four innings before allowing a leadoff walk to Jorge Polanco in the fifth. Verlander got Gio Urshela to tap into a double play one pitch later to retire Polanco.
The right-hander also issued a two-out walk to No. 9 hitter Gilberto Celestino in the sixth inning.
A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Verlander entered Tuesday with a 3-1 record and 1.93 ERA through five starts this year after missing all of the 2021 season and nearly all of 2020 due to Tommy John surgery.
His best start of the year prior to Tuesday came on April 16, when he threw eight scoreless innings and allowed just three hits against Seattle.
Verlander is vying for the majors' second no-hitter this season after five New York Mets' pitchers combined for one against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 29. There were a record nine no-hitters across the majors last season.
Houston leads Minnesota 5-0 after seven innings at Target Field.
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