The Boston Red Sox are back under .500.
The Red Sox, who returned to .500 on Wednesday with a victory over the Cincinnati Reds, were steamrolled by the Texas Rangers on Friday in Arlington. Yu Darvish nearly tossed a no-hitter as the Red Sox began their six-game road trip with an 8-0 loss.
Darvish’s near-no-hitter was the big story Friday. It obviously wasn’t the only story, though, so let’s go over what you should know about the Red Sox’s series-opening loss to the Rangers.
— Darvish came within one out of tossing the first no-hitter against the Red Sox since the Seattle Mariners’ Chris Bosio twirled a no-no on April 22, 1993.
“I think everybody in the ballpark is well-aware of what’s taking place,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Darvish’s no-hit bid. “You’re going up to try to get a pitch on the plate, and he never made mistakes over the white. He was on the edge pretty much the entire time, and you tip your hat for a quality game pitched.”
David Ortiz broke up Darvish’s no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. Ortiz beat the Rangers’ infield shift with a single into right-center field.
“The shift (messed) him up,” Ortiz said. “Because if you’re playing normal, that’s the end of the game.”
— Darvish had a perfect game going until some miscommunication by the Rangers with two outs in the seventh inning gave the Red Sox their first baserunner. The play also was an official scorer’s nightmare.
Ortiz hit a popup into shallow right field. Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor ran out and right fielder Alex Rios charged in. It should have been another routine out for Darvish, but Odor heard something and backed off a bit. By the time Odor recovered and extended his glove, the ball dropped between him and Rios.
Darvish’s no-hitter absolutely could have ended right there, but official scorer Steve Weller charged Rios with an error despite neither player touching the ball.
“OK, I know I hit a ball that was supposed to be caught, the guy is throwing a no-hitter, we all understand that. But when it comes down to the rules in the game, that’s a hit,” a seemingly frustrated Ortiz said after the game. “That’s the rule that we all know and that’s the rule the game has for more than 100 years — the ball in the outfield drops between the infield and the outfield and nobody touched it, that’s a hit. I guess it’s going to be two (hits) now.”
Weller’s ruling was a judgment call. And while — as Farrell and Ortiz pointed out after the game — such a play typically gets ruled a hit, Weller made a determination based on Rule 10.12(a)(1), which states:
The official scorer shall charge an outfielder with an error if such outfielder allows a fly ball to drop to the ground if, in the official scorer’s judgment, an outfielder at that position making ordinary effort would have caught such fly ball.
Weller, who also called the Elias Sports Bureau to confirm the call, told a pool reporter he thought Rios called off Odor and thus determined the ball should have been caught.
Ortiz disagreed wholeheartedly, though the slugger seemed to understand the reasoning behind the call.
“If the guy throws a no-hitter, I wouldn’t mind (the call),” Ortiz said. “I would’ve been OK with it, to be honest with you.”
The Red Sox never have had a perfect game thrown against them.
— Clay Buchholz got knocked around again. He gave up six earned runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings.
— Chris Capuano struggled upon entering in the fifth inning. He was charged with two earned runs on three hits and surrendered a two-run homer to Leonys Martin.
— A.J. Pierzynski threw out two would-be base stealers in the fourth inning. He has thrown out 41 percent of runners this season.
— Xander Bogaerts was cleated in the knee by Odor on the Rangers rookie’s stolen-base attempt in the fourth inning. Bogaerts tested out his leg by jogging in the outfield and ultimately stayed in the game.