Justin Verlander came within four outs of another no-hitter, outpitching an angry Jered Weaver as the Tigers edged the Los Angeles Angels, 3-2, yesterday in Detroit in a testy game that grew particularly heated.
Maicer Izturis lined an RBI single to left field with two outs in the eighth for the Angels’ only hit.
Weaver was ejected for throwing a pitch over Alex Avila’s head in the seventh, right after Carlos Guillen showboated on a solo home run - infuriating the righthander.
Guillen flipped his bat, posed at the plate, and skipped a few steps sideways, prompting Weaver to yell at him before Guillen rounded the bases.
Sensing trouble was coming, plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt warned both benches. But Weaver threw the next pitch near Avila’s head and was quickly ejected along with Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia.
Knowing he would be tossed, Weaver started walking off the field immediately, gesturing angrily and cursing in the direction of Detroit’s bench.
Magglio Ordonez hit a two-run homer off Weaver in the third. Weaver yelled at Ordonez as he rounded the bases, apparently thinking he had been posing as he watched the shot, which barely stayed fair.
Verlander (15-5) was trying for his third career no-hitter and second this season.
Erick Aybar tried to bunt for a hit leading off the eighth against Verlander, often considered a violation of baseball etiquette when a pitcher has a no-hitter going in the late innings.
“I know it was only 3-0, so I can understand there are arguments on both sides. But as a pitcher, we call that bush league,’’ he said.
Aybar said he was just trying to help his team. “That’s my game - I don’t have power,’’ he said. “[Verlander] told me he’d get me next year, and I said that was OK.’’
Yankees 4, Orioles 2 - Brett Gardner hit a bases-loaded triple and Freddy Garcia (10-7) struck out six in six innings as host New York moved to 22 games over .500.
Rays 8, Mariners 1 - Jeremy Hellickson held host Seattle to five hits and a run over seven-plus innings as Tampa Bay cruised.
Blue Jays 7, Rangers 3 - Brandon Morrow struck out a season-high 11, Edwin Encarnacion homered, and host Toronto handed Texas its fourth loss in six games.
Reds 9, Giants 0 - Johnny Cueto pitched a three-hitter and Joey Votto added a three-run homer and tied his career high with five RBIs as visiting Cincinnati completed a three-game sweep of San Francisco.
Nationals 3, Mets 2 - Rick Ankiel scored on Ian Desmond’s chopper up the middle in the ninth inning to lift host Washington.
Marlins 3, Braves 1 - Ricky Nolasco scattered 12 hits, Emilio Bonifacio homered, and visiting Florida handed Atlanta its 10,000th franchise loss.
Brewers 5, Astros 4 - Prince Fielder drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as host Milwaukee completed its second consecutive three-game sweep.
Padres 8, Rockies 3 - Jesus Guzman drove in three runs, including the go-ahead run in a six-run eighth inning, for host San Diego.
Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 3 - Joe Saunders came within four outs of his second straight complete game and Gerardo Parra homered twice for visiting Arizona.
Cubs 6, Cardinals 3 - Starlin Castro and Marlon Byrd had key hits as visiting Chicago broke up Jake Westbrook’s perfect game with a four-run sixth inning.
Phillies 6, Pirates 5 - Raul Ibanez homered twice and hit the winning double in the 10th inning for host Philadelphia.
Royals 5, Indians 3 - Danny Duffy pitched into the sixth inning and Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon homered to lead Kansas City over host Cleveland.
Athletics 7, Twins 3 - Coco Crisp had two hits and three stolen bases to lead host Oakland.