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Rangers' Darvish loses no-hitter with two outs in ninth

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish will be having flashbacks of facing Boston's David Ortiz for a while.

Ortiz had the good fortune of breaking up Darvish's perfect game in the seventh with a fly ball that resulted in an error. Then Ortiz poked the Red Sox' first hit through the right side of the infield with two outs in the ninth.

So for the second straight season, Darvish lost a no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth. But the Rangers will take Darvish's gem to the win column as Texas pounded Boston 8-0 Friday night at Globe Life Park.

Texas manager Ron Washington said it might have been Darvish's best performance in a Ranger uniform, including the other near-misses at no-hitters.

"I think that's the best stuff I've seen him have since he's been here really, even the other opportunities he had to throw a no-hitter," Washington said. "His stuff tonight was real good. Zip on his four seamer, nice cutter, slider. He did one heck of a job out there tonight against a very good offensive club."

But the talk in the Rangers clubhouse centered on the one that got away.

After Darvish retired the first 20 Red Sox batters in order, he appeared to be headed to the eighth inning with a perfect game. Ortiz, the designated hitter, hit a routine fly ball to right field, sending Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor, playing in his second major league game, deep into the outfield. Odor lunged for the ball in front of right fielder Alex Rios, but the ball fell to the turf and was scored an error on Rios.

"He was doing a great job out there and it just happened," Rios said. "I'm not glad that it happened. I feel terrible but it's part of the game."

Odor said the noise in the stadium caused him not to be able to hear Rios behind him. But he took the blame for the error despite making an effort to get in position.

"Of course I'm not happy, but it's what happened," Odor said. "I made the effort that I could."

Darvish then walked first baseman Mike Napoli before getting left fielder Grady Sizemore to fly out to Rios to end the inning.

Darvish gave up another walk in the eighth, this one to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, but he made it through the inning with his no-hitter intact after striking out Jackie Bradley Jr. to end the inning.

The Texas pitcher then retired second baseman Dustin Pedroia and right fielder Shane Victorino to start the ninth before Ortiz came through with a hit.

Washington pulled Darvish after Ortiz's hit in the ninth. Darvish struck out 12 and had thrown 126 pitches when he exited. Rangers reliever Alexi Ogando recorded the final out.

Darvish was perfect through five innings, striking out nine of the first 13 batters. He matched his season high for strikeouts in a game by that point.

Sizemore hit one of the few well-struck balls to left field, and Rangers left fielder Shin-Soo Choo almost misjudged the drive. But Choo leaped to make the catch for the second out of the fifth. Darvish then got Bogaerts to ground out to second to end the inning and remain perfect through 15 batters.

While Darvish was busy fanning the Red Sox batters, Texas pushed ahead with a run in the bottom of the first and two more in the third.

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre lined a double into the gap in left to score shortstop Elvis Andrus from first to give Texas the initial lead.

Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder singled to center in the third to drive in Choo from second, and Andrus later scored on a sacrifice fly by Rios.

Texas exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by center fielder Leonys Martin's two-run home run to right field that scored designated hitter Mitch Moreland and put the Rangers ahead 8-0.

That chased Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz from the game after he gave up six earned runs. Boston manager John Farrell said Buchholz had the same stuff he had in his last two outings, when he went at least six innings on both occasions and gave up a combined four earned runs. Farrell said Buchholz was simply missing spots.

"His stuff was fairly consistent in terms of velocity," Farrell said. "It was location, consistent location and against a team that is coming out of its downturn and swung the bat well tonight."

NOTES: Boston was attempting to win three straight games for the first time all season. Coming in, the Red Sox had swept a two-game series against the Reds with a pair of 4-3 victories. ... The three games between Boston and Texas in Arlington this weekend will close out the six-game series between the two teams this season, the earliest the two franchises have been done playing each other for the season in the clubs' history. ... Entering Friday's game, the Rangers had not won consecutive games since April 22-23. ... On Thursday, Texas notched its Major League-leading seventh shutout with a 5-0 victory over the Rockies. Now it has eight shutouts. On Thursday, Matt Harrison threw 5 1/3 innings, giving up three hits, and four Rangers relievers combined to hold Colorado to just two more hits to finish off the shutout.

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