Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander came within two outs of a third career no-hitter last night, as Andy Pettitte recorded his first win since coming out of retirement and Chicago Cubs’ Kerry Wood quit after 14 Major League Baseball seasons.
Verlander’s bid was ruined when Pittsburgh Pirate Josh Harrison singled with one out in the ninth inning of the interleague game at Comerica Park in Detroit. Verlander retired the last two batters on groundouts as the Tigers won 6-0.
Verlander, who had no-hitters in 2007 and 2011, threw 109 pitches, including 76 strikes, giving up up one hit while striking out 12 and walking two.
“It was just amazing,” Verlander told reporters. “These fans have been unbelievable in supporting me, this team, this city. It’s been really special to be a part of this for seven years now. They show support for me when it’s good, when it’s bad, and it means a lot.”
This season, Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels threw a no-hitter on May 5, and Chicago White Sox righthander Philip Humber pitched a perfect game April 22.
At Yankee Stadium, Pettitte recorded his first win of this Major League Baseball season as the New York Yankees topped the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 in interleague play.
‘Mind’s Getting Back’
Pettitte, 39, ended his one-season retirement in March and rejoined the Yankees May 13 in New York, taking a 6-2 loss against the Seattle Mariners after working his way back into shape in the minor leagues.
“I felt like I could do this, and now it’s just like I feel like the mind’s getting back there,” said Pettitte, who earned his 241st win. “I’m just hoping and praying the body holds up.”
Pettitte (1-1) went eight innings, allowing four hits, while walking one and striking out nine for a 2.51 earned run average. He threw 115 pitches, including 78 strikes.
“He must have been doing something real good when he was retired,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He looked as sharp as I’ve ever seen him.”
Pettitte last won a game on July 8, 2010, in a 3-1 Yankees victory against the Mariners. After recovering from a groin injury, he posted a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series on Oct. 7 that year before retiring.
At Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Kerry Wood made his final appearance on the mound to end 14 seasons in the majors. Wood struck out one in the Cubs 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
“I had a blast. I wouldn’t trade it in,” the 34-year-old pitcher told reporters. “Every player gets to this point where we don’t all get to choose when, we don’t all get to have a say in it. But I was fortunate enough to play this game a long time in a great city in front of the best fans in baseball. It was time.”
Wood struck out Dayan Viciedo on three pitches, the last one a swing and a miss, in the eighth inning before he was replaced.
On May 6, 1998, as a 20-year-old in his fifth major league start, he allowed one hit and struck out 20 in a 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros to tie Roger Clemens’ nine-inning strikeout record.
Wood went on the disabled list this season with shoulder fatigue -- the 16th time he had been on the DL during his career.