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July 15, 2013

Rangers no-hit until 7th, fall to Tigers 5-0

DETROIT — Mitch Moreland finally broke up Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid in the seventh inning.

By then, the Texas Rangers were already five runs behind, with Verlander shutting down hitters in a less overpowering manner than usual.

“It was a little bit different Verlander than what we usually see,” Moreland said. “He mixed a lot of off-speed in there and kept us off-balance. I felt like we hit some balls hard, but it seemed like they went right to them. You’ve got to tip your hat to what he did, it’s always a battle going against him and he’s where he’s at for a reason. It was a tough one for us.”

Verlander held Texas hitless until the seventh, and the Detroit Tigers backed their ace with three home runs in a 5-0 victory over the Rangers on Sunday. Moreland’s two-out double to right-center ended Verlander’s shot at his third career no-hitter.

Verlander (10-6) left the game after the seventh with a tight right quad muscle, having allowed just that one hit and three walks. He struck out only three but was still effective.

“We squared some balls up and they played some great defense out there for him today,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I didn’t think he was at his best and we worked him pretty good but they ended up putting runs on the board and we didn’t.”

Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta hit solo homers off Texas starter Martin Perez (3-2). The Rangers finished with two hits.

Perez allowed five runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked three.

Although he also took a no-hitter into the seventh at Houston on May 5, Verlander’s overpowering aura hasn’t been quite the same this season. Sunday’s gem lowered his ERA to 3.50.

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