ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish came so close to a no-hitter for the second time in his American baseball career.
Just like in Houston a year ago, a base hit with two out in the ninth inning spoiled a slice of history for the ace Friday night in an 8-0 Texas Rangers’ victory over the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park.
You can bet Darvish is keeping count.
And while disappointed to see his no-hit bid end on a single by David Ortiz through the Rangers over-shifted infield, Darvish prefers the positive spin.
“If I keep on pitching like this,’’ he said through an interpreter afterward, “someday I get it. I will keep doing what I’m doing.’’
The menu was plenty of fastballs and sliders on Friday. He left the game after the Ortiz hit having thrown 126 pitches.
Darvish was perfect through 7 2/3 innings until an Ortiz fly ball fell between second baseman Rougned Odor and right fielder Alex Rios. Rios was charged with an error, although neither player touched the ball.
“I had a 3-1 count and had to throw a fastball,’’ Darvish said. “As soon as he hit it, I thought it was a hit. I was a little disappointed. But I gave up another hit, so it really didn’t matter.’’
Darvish said he was more upset at himself about walking Mike Napoli after the error. He knew during the Napoli at-bat that the official scorer had ruled an error, keeping the no-hitter alive.
Rios said he “felt terrible’’ about the error and that he apologized to Darvish and told him he should have caught it.
Odor, making only his second big league start, said crowd noise was a factor. “I thought I heard a call for the ball and pulled off,’’ he said.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he thought Darvish’s stuff was the best he’s had.
Darvish disagreed. “But it was against Boston and I pitched pretty well,’’ he said.
Mixed in with 12 Darvish strikeouts, including six in succession at one point, were two walks.
“I think somebody must be mad at him,’’ Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said about near no-hitter. “He just needs to keep doing the same thing.’’
Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia saw some unhappy symmetry in the way it worked out.
“Most of the time that Ortiz ball would be a hit. Then he came back up and got a hit,’’ Arencibia said.