Red Sox nearly no-hit by Darvish in loss at Texas


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Once he ended Yu Darvish's no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth inning on a clean single, David Ortiz thought he should have been credited with another hit.

When the Texas Rangers misplayed Ortiz's high fly in the seventh, a ball that dropped without being touched to give the Red Sox their first baserunner, it was ruled an error. Even the Boston slugger acknowledged the ball should have been caught.

Ortiz, however, wiped out a potential controversy with his grounder to right through an overshifted infield on Darvish's 126th and final pitch in the Rangers' 8-0 victory Friday night.

"Guy's throwing a no-hitter. We all understand that. But when it comes down to the rules in the game, that's a hit," Ortiz said. "That's the rule that we all know, and that's the rule that the game [has had] for more than 100 years. The ball in the outfield drops in between infield and outfield, nobody touched it. ... So I guess it's going to be two [hits] now."

Had he not gotten a hit in the ninth, Ortiz said he would have been OK with the error "if the guy's throwing a no-hitter."

Darvish fell just one out shy of a no-no for the second time in his career. He was within one out of a perfect game during his first start last season at Houston when Marwin Gonzalez singled through the pitcher's legs.

"This is the second time I experienced this, but if I keep pitching like this, someday I'll get it," the Japanese ace 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.

After the base hit, Darvish bent his knees and put his glove on his hips. 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.

"He was on his game early," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. " That combination of being powerful and the secondary pitches and the assortment of them ends up being a night like tonight."

Clay Buchholz (2-3) allowed six runs and 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two while throwing 96 pitches.

The 20-year-old Odor, playing his second major league game and the youngest player to appear in the big leagues this season, was 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.

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."

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."

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.

"He had great stuff. He was locating everything," Pedroia said. "When a guy like that with that kind of stuff is on his game, it makes it a tough night."

Darvish also lost a no-hit bid with one out in the eighth against the Astros last August.

Elvis Andrus had four hits and scored three times for the Rangers. He singled and scored on Adrian Beltre's double in the first to put Texas ahead.


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