[Updated] Yu Darvish loses no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning

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[Update: 11:15 PM EST] Darvish again was one out away from completing a no-hitter. With two outs in the ninth inning, David Ortiz beat the shift, sending a grounder into right-center for a single. Manager Ron Washington immediately pulled Darvish from the game as the right-hander had thrown 126 pitches. Darvish’s final line: 8.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 12 K.

You may recall that Darvish was one out away from a perfect game on April 2, 2013 against the Astros. Marwin Gonzalez singled on a ground ball up the middle to end the bid.

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[Update: 10:53 PM EST] Darvish has no-hit the Red Sox through eight innings. He walked another batter in the eighth so he now has two walks on the night along with 11 strikeouts and is at 113 pitches. Three outs to go.

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Rangers starter Yu Darvish is working on a no-hitter. You’ve heard it before and you’ll certainly hear it again. The right-hander has held the Red Sox without a hit through seven innings tonight, striking out ten and walking one in the process.

The no-hitter stayed in tact thanks to a controversial ruling by the scorer. With two outs in the seventh, David Ortiz hit a blooper to shallow right field and it dropped untouched after miscommunication between rookie second baseman Rougned Odor and right fielder Alex Rios. The scorer assigned the error to Rios. Darvish followed up the event with a walk to Mike Napoli before getting Grady Sizemore to fly out to right field to end the inning.

In this writer’s humble opinion, that would have been ruled a hit in 29 out of 29 other ballparks and in 100 percent of non-perfect-game-related situations. So Ortiz’s bloop should have been ruled a hit. Here’s the video.

At any rate, we’ll keep you posted here as Darvish attempts to get six more outs to seal the no-hitter.

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.