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Aug 27, 12:59 AM EDT

Angels spoil Verlander's no-hit bid but lose 5-0 to Tigers


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DETROIT (AP) -- Chris Iannetta spared the Los Angeles Angels the indignity of a no-hitter.

That was small consolation on a night when Justin Verlander was simply overpowering.

Verlander lost a bid for his third no-hitter when Iannetta hit a leadoff double in the ninth inning that landed on the left-field line, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Angels 5-0 Wednesday.

Trying to become the sixth major leaguer to throw three no-hitters, Verlander settled instead for a one-hit shutout.

He was an inch away from so much more.

"The most important thing is we didn't win," said Iannetta, whose hit barely stayed fair and kicked up chalk. "He pitched a great game. Verlander pitched an amazing game. I got a good pitch to hit, glad I hit it, but the ultimate thing is it was a loss."

The Angels trail Minnesota by one game in the race for the American League's second wild card. They are 5 1/2 back of first-place Houston in the AL West.

Verlander (2-6) retired the next three batters after Iannetta, who is hitting .188, to finish his seventh career shutout and first in the regular season since May 18, 2012, against Pittsburgh. The right-hander struck out nine and walked two in his first win since July 29.

He faced only 28 hitters - one more than the minimum - after inducing double plays following both walks.

Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos homered to help the Tigers stop a five-game slide.

Verlander's most recent no-hitter came at Toronto on May 7, 2011. He also pitched one against Milwaukee on June 12, 2007.

Four times now in the majors this season a no-hit bid has been broken up in the ninth inning.

Verlander struck out five consecutive batters before walking David Murphy on four pitches to start the eighth, including Mike Trout looking at a breaking ball for the second out in the seventh. Albert Pujols then went down swinging at an inside fastball.

"You always start to think about it probably in the third or fourth inning. But I really keyed the seventh inning with Trout and Pujols coming up, saying, if I can get through this I've got a good shot," Verlander said. "And I've got to tip my cap to Iannetta. He hit a pretty good pitch. My fastball's been working for me all night. I went with it."

Verlander's second career one-hitter was his first complete game since he shut out Oakland on the road in the decisive fifth game of the 2012 AL Division Series.

"We've seen Justin for a long time, and it seems like as the game goes on, historically, you really see him start to smell the end of it and his stuff picks up, and that's what we saw tonight," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

"The only difference was we saw him when he might have gotten up to 100 mph when he smelled it. He wasn't quite there, but there's no doubt that as that game went on, his stuff picked up and he pitched a terrific game for those guys."

Hector Santiago (7-8) allowed five runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings for the Angels.

ELITE GROUP

The only major league pitchers to throw three or more no-hitters are Larry Corcoran (3 in the 1880s), Cy Young (3), Bob Feller (3), Sandy Koufax (4) and Nolan Ryan (7).

"It'd be nice to be in that group, especially some of the names in there," Verlander said. "I think Nolan Ryan had some ridiculous amount of no-hitters broken up in the ninth inning. It happens."

ADJUSTMENT

Iannetta said before his last at-bat, he looked at video from 2011, when he was hitting better while using a leg kick and holding his hands high. He made an adjustment and broke up Verlander's no-hit bid.

"He pitched a great game. He's always great," Iannetta said. "He's a tough pitcher. He's one of the best in the game for a reason. He's been that way for a long time, and he is the same as he's always been."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: OF Grant Green (right knee) could have played in an emergency but was not used.

Tigers: LHP Kyle Lobstein (left shoulder) made his fifth rehab start Tuesday night, going five innings and allowing one run for Triple-A Toledo.

UP NEXT

Detroit LHP Randy Wolf (0-1) will start Thursday, and the Angels are expected to call up RHP Matt Shoemaker from the minors. Los Angeles optioned RHP Drew Rucinski to Triple-A Salt Lake after Wednesday's game.

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AP freelancer Dave Hogg contributed to this report.

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