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.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Players such as George Springer are a sign that things are starting to swing in the Houston Astros' favour. But more help is needed. Scott Halleran / AFP

Houston Astros are still earth-bound but help is on the way

As harbingers of a new era go, the Houston Astros could have done worse than misspelling their new phenom’s name on his major-league debut.

 Luis Suarez became the first Liverpool player to score 30 Premier League goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1987. Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Sterling and Suarez inpire Liverpool to win over Norwich City

The win takes the Premier League table-toppers to 80 points from 35 games.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National