Friday, May 9, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Red Sox 0
By Travis L. Brown | Special to ESPNBoston.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- He couldn't salvage a win by himself in the Red Sox's 8-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on Friday, but designated hitter David Ortiz saved Boston from surrendering the franchise's first perfect game ever and then the first no-hitter since 1993 in two consecutive at-bats.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Ortiz drove a hard ground ball into the hole between second base and first base, too shallow for Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor to play, ending Yu Darvish's bid at a no-hitter.
It was the second time Darvish had made it 8 2/3 innings without allowing a hit only to see it end in the final out. The first was April 2 of last year against Houston.
Ending perfection: In his third at-bat of the game, Ortiz broke up Darvish's bid at a perfect game, which would have been the first against the Red Sox. In the top of the seventh, Ortiz pulled a pop fly into the Rangers' shift, with the ball's landing area positioned right in the middle of a defensive triangle formed by center fielder Leonys Martin, right fielder Alex Rios and second baseman Odor, who was playing deep in the grass of right field as a part of the shift. There appeared to be a communication issue between Rios and Odor, and the ball fell in as what appeared to be a very clear single. However, minutes after the play occurred the official scorer ruled the play an error on Rios, keeping the no-hitter intact for Darvish. Ortiz is one of the all-time best hitters at Globe Life Park in Arlington, with his .635 slugging percentage entering the game ranking second highest among active players at the ballpark. Ortiz was one of two players to not record at least one strikeout against Darvish in the game, the other being left fielder Grady Sizemore, who flied out in all three of his at-bats.
Web gem: It could have been even worse. In the at-bat after Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre roped a double down the left-field line, scoring shortstop Elvis Andrus, Prince Fielder lifted a solid bid for his fourth home run of the season. It would have been out had he not pulled it toward the deepest corner of the field in right center, where Red Sox centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. elevated, nabbing Fielder's shot before it could fall in for an extra-base hit if not leave the ballpark.
Tough call: It's one of the more frustrating calls to make in baseball. With one out in the third and an 0-2 count, Rangers right fielder Alex Rios flied out into deep foul territory in right while Andrus stood on third base. Sox right fielder Shane Victorino elected to make the catch, allowing Andrus to trot easily across home plate after the tag. It ended up working out for the Sox, as Buchholz got Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia to pop out to second two batters later, but the Rangers left two on in the inning, which could have made for a nice rally early in the ballgame.
Buchholz struggles: In a return to his home state, Clay Buchholz hit a snag, throwing his second-shortest outing of the season at 4 1/3 innings. Buchholz also threw 4 1/3 innings in his first start of the season against Milwaukee, a no-decision. Friday, he allowed six runs on 10 hits, the second most he's allowed all year. He left in the fifth with two runners on base, both of whom were allowed to score when reliever Chris Capuano took over. Buchholz is now 0-3 all-time in Arlington.