8:05 PM ET, May 9, 2014
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
Yu Darvish falls one out shy of no-hitter as Rangers rout Red Sox
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish came oh, so close again.
"This is the second time I experienced this, but if I keep pitching like this, someday I'll get it," Darvish said through his translator. "Someday, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and I'll probably have another record of almost a no-hitter."
Rookie second baseman Rougned Odor, positioned in shallow right field, made a diving attempt at Ortiz's hit but the ball was out of his reach. If the Rangers had not shifted their infield toward the right side of the diamond -- a standard practice against the pull-happy Ortiz -- it probably would have been a routine grounder to second.
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Yu Darvish flirted with a perfect game before falling one out shy of what would have been a controversial no-hitter. Story
Darvish lost a perfect-game bid with two outs in the ninth inning last season against Houston. This time, he bent his knees and put his glove on his hips after the base hit. Texas manager Ron Washington then made a slow walk to the mound, with the 45,392 in attendance cheering and chanting "Yuuuuuu!"
Darvish (3-1) struck out 12 and walked two while throwing 126 pitches.
The 20-year-old Odor, playing his second major league game, and Ortiz were also involved in the play that ended Darvish's try for a perfect game.
Darvish struck out eight of the first 11 batters he faced and retired 20 in a row until Ortiz hit a high popup to right field with two outs in the seventh.
Odor was also shifted into shallow right then and drifted back for the ball while right fielder Alex Rios came in before suddenly stopping. Odor lunged with his glove extended above his head but the ball dropped between them.
"As soon as he hit it, I thought it was going to be a hit," Darvish said. "Obviously I was a little bit disappointed, but I was already ready to give up a hit, so it didn't really matter."
An error was charged to Rios after official scorer Steve Weller looked at replays and conferred with several others because of the significance of the play.
"I should have taken control of that ball," Rios said. "We were camped under the ball, so it can be called an error."
Odor said crowd noise was a factor. "I thought I heard a call for the ball and pulled off," he said.
Oh So Close
Friday night marked the second time in just over a year that Yu Darvish came an out shy of history. Last April, he nearly had a perfect game against the Astros. On Friday, it was a no-hitter vs. the Red Sox. Here's a look:
|Innings||8 2/3||8 2/3|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
Weller, in his 20th season as a scorer, told a pool reporter after the game that it was a judgment call and "I felt like the second baseman or right fielder under normal effort could've clearly caught the ball."
Asked if he had spoken to Darvish, Rios said, "I just told him that I should have caught it. That's the only thing I said."
Darvish, who was coming off the mound in case he needed to back up a base, crouched down when the ball hit the ground. Former Rangers catcher Mike Napoli then drew a walk before Grady Sizemore's inning-ending fly out.
Darvish walked another batter in the eighth but went into the ninth looking for the first no-hitter in the majors this season. Dustin Pedroia grounded out and Shane Victorino struck out before Ortiz stepped to the plate.
"I think somebody must be mad at him,'' was Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus' take on the near-miss. "He just needs to keep doing the same thing.''
Darvish was within one out of a perfect game during his first start of 2013 in Houston when Marwin Gonzalez singled through the pitcher's legs. Darvish then lost a no-hit bid with one out in the eighth against the Astros last August.
Four weeks ago, Darvish was perfect through five innings at home against the Astros before a leadoff single in the sixth. He threw eight scoreless innings that night in a game the Rangers won 1-0 in 12 innings.
Andrus had four hits and scored three times for the Rangers in this one.
He was back in his normal No. 2 spot in the batting order for the first time in six games. Washington had moved his shortstop down in the lineup after a 2-for-34 slide that dropped him to a season-low .217, but moved him back to split up the five left-handers in his lineup against Clay Buchholz (2-3).
Buchholz allowed six runs and 10 hits over 4⅓ innings. He struck out three and walked two while throwing 96 pitches.
It was Darvish's 21st career game with at least 10 strikeouts, the most in the majors since his debut in 2012. Detroit's Max Scherzer is next on the list with 14 in that span.
Darvish was winless in his previous nine home starts, despite a 2.83 ERA in those games. He had not won at home since last Aug. 1 against Arizona.
Texas went ahead to stay when Andrus had a one-out single in the first and scored on a double by Adrian Beltre.
The last no-hitter for the Rangers was Kenny Rogers' perfect game against the California Angels on July 28, 1994. ... Boston last went without a hit on April 22, 1993, against Seattle's Chris Bosio. ... Andrus had the first four-hit game by a Texas player this season. ... Odor, the youngest player to appear in a major league game this season, got his first hit with a single in the fourth.
Information from The Associated Press and ESPNDallas.com contributor Randy Jennings was used in this report.
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 09: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning...(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|1st||A Beltre doubled to deep left, E Andrus scored.||0||1|
|3rd||P Fielder singled to left center, S Choo scored, E Andrus to third.||0||2|
|3rd||A Rios hit sacrifice fly to right, E Andrus scored.||0||3|
|5th||A Rios singled to center, E Andrus scored, P Fielder to second.||0||4|
|5th||M Moreland singled to left, P Fielder scored, A Rios to third.||0||5|
|5th||J Arencibia hit sacrifice fly to left, A Rios scored.||0||6|
|5th||L Martin homered to right (367 feet), M Moreland scored.||0||8|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, TX|
|Attendance||45,392 (94.2% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||85 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Greg Gibson, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Vic Carapazza, Third Base - Adam Hamari|
Entering Friday, David Ortiz had been shifted 117 times this season, 18 more than any other hitter in baseball. He hit a ground ball or short line drive into those shifts 41 times, with only six of them going for hits prior to Friday (.146 BA).[+]
ESPN Stats & Information