Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
A rueful Yu Darvish after missing out on a perfect game against Houston.
A rueful Yu Darvish after missing out on a perfect game against Houston.

MLB: Darvish misses out on perfect game as Rangers claim 7-0 win over Houston

The Japanese pitcher struck out 14 in an impressive night for Texas, while the San Francisco Giants got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win over the Dodgers.

Yu Darvish came within one out of matching the greatest single-game pitching performances in Major League Baseball, striking out 14 while nearly throwing a perfect game for the Texas Rangers against the Houston Astros last night.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Rangers leading 7-0, Marwin Gonzalez hit a single through the Japanese pitcher's legs to break up his bid for a rare perfect game.

In 135 years of Major League Baseball, there have been just 23 perfect games, with no pitcher ever tossing more than one.

There were three last season, by the Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez, the Chicago White Sox's Philip Humber and San Francisco's Matt Cain.

"I think my team mates were more disappointed than I was," Darvish said afterwards via a translator.

"If I got the complete game today, it's not going to translate to three or five wins. It's a win. A win is a win. My teammates are a little more disappointed than I am."

Darvish threw 111 pitches, flashing an unhittable fastball-slider combination. He was removed from the game after Gonzalez's hit.

The only pitchers to fan 14 in a perfect game were the Los Angeles Dodgers' Sandy Koufax in 1965 and Cain last year.

In his second season with Texas after arriving from Japan, Darvish had never thrown a major league complete game. His longest previous outing was 8 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees last April.

After striking out Jose Altuve and Brett Wallace to start the game, Darvish struck out the side in the second inning, closing the frame with three consecutive called strikes against Justin Maxwell.

Jason Castro and Carlos Corporan actually managed to put the ball in play in the third, but Darvish recovered to fan four consecutive batters. By the close of the fifth inning he'd already recorded his ninth career 10-strikeout game, reaching that plateau in just his 30th start.

"He ended up not throwing a no-hitter, not throwing a perfect game, but he had perfect game stuff," Astros manager Bo Porter said of Darvish.

"It was more about him than it was about us."

The Rangers jumped on top with a run in the third inning. Texas strung together consecutive one-out hits before shortstop Elvis Andrus worked a walk to load the bases ahead of Lance Berkman. Facing a 1-2 count, Berkman poked a single the opposite way into left field to score Craig Gentry, who had doubled.

Houston starter Lucas Harrell recovered to retire Adrian Beltre and David Murphy, and later started inning-ending double plays in the fourth and sixth to avoid additional danger.

Harrell was lifted after six stellar innings, allowing that solo earned run on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the seventh, and Texas added four runs in the late innings.

The San Francisco Giants are off the mark in the defence of their World Series title after atoning for their opening-day loss by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0.

The Dodgers shut out the Giants on Monday but the Giants responded in kind, with Madison Bumgarner giving up just two hits in eight innings in a standout performance.

San Francisco edged ahead in the fourth inning and calamitous fielding by Los Angeles gifted them second and third runs in the seventh.

A three-run homer from Chris Davis steered the Baltimore Orioles towards their 7-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, while the St Louis Cardinals had home runs from Matt Holliday, Pete Kozma and Jon Jay in their 6-1 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Colorado Rockies beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4, while the Cleveland Indians overcame the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1.


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Al Ahli's Ismail Al Hammadi, left, battles for the ball during the Arabian Gulf Cup final between against Al Jazira at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on April 19, 2014. Al Hammadi hit the game-winner in the 81st minute for Ahli. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli maintain course for domestic treble with victory over Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup

Al Ahli maintained their hopes of a domestic treble with a superb comeback victory against Al Jazira in the Arabian Gulf Cup final on Saturday night.

 Alex Kacaniklic, left, of Fulham tackles Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur during their Premier League match at White Hart Lane on April 19, 2014, in London, England. Clive Rose / Getty Images

Tottenham keep pace in chase for European places with victory over Fulham

Swansea appear to be safe after rallying past Newcastle while Crystal Palace continue their winning streak

 On a track described as a ‘tyre-killer’ in Shanghai, Lewis Hamilton went untested on his way to a 34th pole – the most by a British driver – yesterday. Carlos Barria / Reuters

Hamilton has sympathy for fans hung out to dry with wet tyre rules

The Briton takes his career's 34th pole - the most by a British driver - but sympathises it was not ideal for the ticket-paying public.

 Yuzvendra Chahal, centre, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates celebrate after the bowlers set up an easy win over Mumbai Indians. Pawan Singh / The National

Bowlers set up Bangalore as Patel stand tall over Mumbai

Mumbai bowlers gave early hope but Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers' unbeaten stand of 99 ensures second defeat for the men in blue in Dubai.

 Roelof Kotzee is leading UAE to unchartered territory. Sarah Dea / The National

UAE step into the unknown ahead of Asian Five Nations

Performance manager Roelof Kotze will give 12 players their first experience of international rugby, but there is also minimal information on Singapore ahead of first Test in Dubai on Wednesday, reports Paul Radley.

 Novak Djokovic of Serbia winces in pain during his semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 19, 2014. Federer prevailed to set up an all-Swiss final with Stanislas Wawrinka. SEBASTIEN NOGIER / EPA

Ailing Djokovic will ‘just rest now’ while Nadal not pressing the panic button

Djokovic says only rest will help is injured right wrist after he falls to Roger Federer on Saturday, and Nadal suffers just his third career defeat in Monte Carlo when he slumped to a shock 7-6, 6-4 quarter-final loss to compatriot Ferrer on Friday.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National