The Pittsburgh Pirates offense was once again silent on Friday night as they opened interleague play against the Tigers. This time, however, they nearly made history by being the victims of Justin Verlander's third career no-hitter. But with just two outs left to go, Josh Harrison strolled to the batter's box and broke it up. Harrison promptly fell behind 0-2, and after a lazy foul fly ball into the stands along the right field line, he caught a Verlander curveball and went right back up the middle with it to end the no-hit bid. The ball landed just beyond second-base and the slow-footed Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta could not get to it. Verlander quickly retired Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen to finish the 6-0 Tigers' win.
The Bucs' batters were completely overmatched throughout the night, as Verlander easily worked went through the lineup with just 95 pitches in the first eight innings. As he's been known to do, Verlander seemed to get stronger as the evening wore on. He struck out the side in the 8th, with the Bucs providing little resistance at the plate. He finished the game with just 109 pitches and 12 strikeouts. But his bid to become just the fourth pitcher with three no-hitters would fall short, thanks to Harrison.
On offense, the Tigers' lineup poured it on early against Charlie Morton. Both Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder ripped doubles in the first inning to put Detroit up two. That's all the Tigers would need, but Delmon Young added two more RBIs and Verlander enjoyed a six-run cushion.
The Bucs will have a little bit of an easier task in second game on Saturday, with Drew Smyly going for Jim Leyland. The rookie has been sharp in seven games this season, but he's certainly no Verlander. A.J. Burnett will take the mound for the Bucs.
We'll have plenty more on this series throughout the weekend here on SB Nation Pittsburgh, so keep it locked to this StoryStream for all the latest news and updates as they become available. For more on this series and all things Pittsburgh Pirates baseball, please check out Bucs Dugout. For some perspective from the other dugout, please head over to Bless You Boys, SB Nation's Detroit Tigers blog. For more on this and every game, please check out the SB Nation MLB baseball hub page.