(AP) Twins HRs end Darvish no-hit bid in 7th, top Texas
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer
Yu Darvish’s latest no-hit bid got broken up in a big way when Chris Herrmann hit a tying, two-run homer in the seventh inning and Justin Morneau followed with a home run that sent the Minnesota Twins over the Texas Rangers 3-2 Friday night.
Minnesota snapped a five-game losing streak on a night when it looked as if the strikeout-prone Twins had no chance against the major league strikeout leader.
Instead, Darvish (12-6) had a third straight start without a win and the right-hander’s home run total jumped to 22 after the Japanese ace allowed 14 his entire rookie season.
This was the third time this year that Darvish took a no-hit try into the seventh.
Twins starter Liam Hendriks (1-2) got his second career win by holding Texas to two runs _ one earned _ in six innings. Glen Perkins struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 31st save in 34 chances.
Darvish faced the minimum number of batters through six innings but didn’t make it out of the seventh. He walked Brian Dozier to start the inning _ the Twins’ second baserunner of the game _ and Herrmann drove a fastball down the right-field line for a 2-all tie.
Four pitches later, Morneau hit a hanging slider 409 feet into the upper deck in right.
Darvish got Josh Willingham for his 11th strikeout and Ryan Doumit flied out. But manager Ron Washington pulled Darvish after a double by Trevor Plouffe, who struck out his first two times on a 94 mph fastball and a 61 mph curve.
Darvish’s other two no-hit bids came in Houston. He was an out away from a perfect game on April 2 before a single by Marwin Gonzalez, then pitched 7 1-3 hitless innings before a home run by Carlos Corporan on Aug. 12.
Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, who threw the last two of his record seven no-hitters with Texas in 1990 and 1991, had a chance to see history from his front-row seat. Instead, Darvish faltered and settled for joining Ryan as the only Texas pitchers with more than 225 strikeouts in a season.
Darvish gave up three hits in 6 2-3 innings and finished with 11 strikeouts _ his 11th double-digit strikeout game of the season. He now has 236 strikeouts, second to Ryan’s franchise record of 301 in 1989.
For the first six innings, the Twins didn’t even come close to a hit while Darvish piled up 10 strikeouts.
Ninth-place hitter Pedro Florimon was so flustered he thought he had walked on a 2-2 count in the sixth _ one pitch after third-base umpire Tim McClelland kept his at-bat alive after ruling he checked his swing on 1-2. Darvish waved Florimon back to the plate as he walked down the first-base line, then struck him out on the full count.
Jurickson Profar’s solo home run in the third for Texas was the first hit of the game. His fifth homer was a 399-foot drive off the facing of the upper deck in right field. Profar had a potential run-scoring hit taken away in the fourth on a diving play by Dozier at second.
Ian Kinsler led off the fourth with a walk, stole second with one out and went to third on a throwing error by Herrmann, the catcher. Kinsler scored on a slow roller to first by A.J. Pierzynski.
NOTES: Rangers RHP Neftali Feliz will skip his final rehab appearance Saturday and be activated when rosters expand Sunday. The closer turned starter hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 18, 2012. He will be in the bullpen.