Yu Darvish came within an out of a no-hitter for the second time in his career, falling short once again.
He couldn’t complete a perfect game against Houston last season, and couldn’t get the final out of his no-hit bid against Boston on Friday.
Darvish carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before David Ortiz reached on a two-out fly ball that dropped between second baseman Rougned Odor and rightfielder Alex Rios.
That play was a ruled an error, a controversial scoring decision, but it kept the no-hitter alive. Darvish took it into the ninth inning and had two outs when Ortiz lined a single through the Rangers’ defensive shift to break it up.
“This is the second time I’ve experienced this, but if I keep pitching like this, someday I’ll get it,” Darvish said.
Manager Ron Washington felt it was the best Darvish has been since coming to the United States before the 2012 season.
Did Darvish agree?
“I don’t think it was the best game I threw, but it was against Boston,” Darvish said. “I think I pitched well against them.”
As far as the controversial call in the seventh, Darvish said: “It was a 3-1 count, I had to throw a fastball in that situation. As soon as he hit it, I thought it was going to be a hit.
“Obviously I was a little bit disappointed [it dropped] but I was ready to give up a hit, so it didn’t really matter.”
Darvish went on to say that he physically felt “very tired” in the eighth inning, but once he got on the mound he recovered. Mentally, Darvish said, “I thought I could go all the way.”
Here are a few postgame notes:
• Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski caught two of Darvish’s no-hit bids last season. Said Pierzynski: “Maybe he finally listened to somebody that he needs to throw more fastballs because last year we tried to get on him about that and he never did it.
“Tonight, he threw a lot of fastballs. He had confidence in his fastball and that was good to see. Like I said, he threw the ball well. He was ahead in the count and when he has all the weapons he has to get you out when you’re behind in the count it’s tough at bats out there. I tip my hat to him and he did well.”
• Darvish joins Dave Stieb (three times) as the only pitcher to lose two no-hitters in the ninth inning during the expansion era.
• Alexi Ogando recorded the final out of the game as the Rangers had their first one-hitter at home since Aug. 23, 2010.
• The Rangers’ pitching staff leads the major leagues with eight shutouts.