A nine-game losing streak, and then this.

Welcome to life these days for the Minnesota Twins.

"That," said Joe Mauer, "is kind of the way things have been going."

Of course, if not for Mauer, it would've been worse. For the third time in his major league career, he spoiled a no-hitter in the ninth inning.

With one out in the ninth and a ready-to-party crowd of 39,789 rocking and roaring at Comerica Park on Friday night, Mauer drilled an Anibal Sanchez cutter right back up the middle for a base hit — the Twins' first and only of the evening.

It denied Sanchez his second-career no-hitter; he also had one with the Marlins.

Not that it diminishes what the right-hander accomplished, at least in Mauer's estimation.

"We got one hit," said Mauer, the owner of multiple batting championships. "That doesn't take away from what he did." There was a comebacker to Sanchez. And a slow roller to Jhonny Peralta. And a somewhat-hard liner to Peralta. But really, the Twins' had few, if any, other scares at hits.

So, you could almost sense a thrilling ninth-inning duel coming way back in the sixth, when Mauer struck out swinging to end the frame.

Yes, Sanchez was just nine outs away from the Tigers first no-hitter since Justin Verlander in Toronto two years ago. But everybody in the house knew Sanchez would have to get Mauer again.