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Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Red Sox 0

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A no-hitter was within the grasp of Yu Darvish. But it wasn't to be Friday evening.

Needing just one out for the Texas Rangers’ first no-hitter since 1994, Darvish just missed.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz beat the shift with a base hit to right field in the bottom of the ninth.

If ever an 8-0 win over the defending world champion Red Sox could feel anticlimactic, this was it.

Alexi Ogando came on to get the final out in the ninth. Darvish left having thrown 126 pitches.

The 27-year-old Darvish struck out 12, walked two and was perfect through 7 2/3 innings, setting down the first 23 hitters.

Darvish’s bid for a perfect game ended in bizarre fashion with two outs in the seventh when Ortiz's fly ball fell between second baseman Rougned Odor and right fielder Alex Rios. Either could have caught it, but neither got a glove on it. Odor ran away from the ball as if he were called off.

The official scorer charged Rios with an error instead of awarding Ortiz a hit.

Darvish, no doubt disappointed that perfection was foiled, proceeded to walk Mike Napoli. But he ended the threat by retiring Grady Sizemore on a fly to Rios.

Sizemore almost ended any no-hitter bid on two occasions earlier in the evening. He floated a flare to right that a charging Rios caught in the second inning. In the fifth, a Sizemore liner to left field was very nearly misjudged by Shin-Soo Choo. At the last second, Choo made a leaping catch.

Six of Darvish’s strikeouts came in succession, beginning with Xander Bogaerts to end the second inning and ending with Ortiz’s fly ball to left field for the third out in the fourth.

A few observations from Friday’s tilt:

Movin’ on up: Elvis Andrus celebrated his return to the No. 2 spot in the batting order with base hits in his first four trips to the plate, the first 4-for-4 game by a Ranger this year. Andrus singled sharply to right field and scored the game’s first run on an Adrian Beltre double in the first, followed it up with a ground ball single to center that helped build a two-run Texas third and led off the fifth by finding a hole up the middle with a ground ball. In the sixth, Andrus took a Chris Capuano pitch the other way and doubled off the right field wall.

Coming on: A night after Prince Fielder snapped a 16-game homerless streak, the big first baseman took centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to the warning track for a leaping catch of a 400-plus-feet drive in the first inning. Two innings later, Fielder delivered the key hit, an RBI single to left-center, in a two-run uprising for a 3-0 Rangers lead.

Teeing off: Mitch Moreland, starting for just the second time in the last eight games, scalded three line drives for base hits in his first three trips to the plate. Moreland narrowly missed a home run in the fifth when a second-deck blast curved foul. He came into the game 4-for-7 with two RBIs in his previous four games.

Trophy case ball: Odor, starting for the second straight game after being summoned Thursday from Double-A Frisco, lined a single to right field off Clay Buchholz in the fourth inning for his first major league hit.

Thought we knew you: Last season’s Rangers catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, threw out two Rangers trying to steal in the fourth inning.

Getting it done: Rios drove in a pair of runs on a sacrifice fly in the third and a well-placed single through the middle in the fifth.

Up next: Left-handers Martin Perez (4-2, 3.59 ERA) and Jon Lester (3-4, 2.59 ERA) square off in Game 2 of the series at 7:05 p.m. CT Saturday on ESPN 103.3 FM and TXA21.