The buzz began to build in the fourth. Neil Walker hit a hard line drive, but right at Brennan Boesch in right field. Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez then struck out.
"With him, anytime like the fifth, sixth inning, with his stuff, you think it could happen," Detroit catcher Alex Avila said. "His stuff was better today than it was last year during his no-hitter."
In the sixth, McKenry made decent contact but hit a grounder right at Peralta. Then Harrison sent a drive toward left-center field. Kelly — playing center because of an injury to Austin Jackson — was able to make a running catch and keep the no-hit bid going.
It was Verlander's 51st straight regular-season start of at least six innings.
The sun didn't set until around 9 p.m. on this mid-May night in Michigan, and with Verlander breezing through the Pittsburgh lineup, the sky didn't really begin to darken until the seventh.
Walker struck out looking to begin that inning — then had a few words for plate umpire CB Bucknor. McCutchen walked for Pittsburgh's first baserunner since the first inning, but Alvarez grounded to first and Garrett Jones was caught looking at a breaking ball.
NOTES: Bucknor was shaken up in the first when he was hit around the collarbone by a wild pitch. ... Boesch extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Detroit's Drew Smyly (1-0) takes the mound against Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett (1-2) on Saturday.
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