The fourth time wasn't the charm for Yu Darvish. The Rangers ace managed to hold the Red Sox hitless for almost the entire game, narrowly missing out on the the first no-hitter of his career.
Darvish's night included 12 strikeouts, which would have been more than Kenny Rogers' 8K perfect performance in July of 1994, but far less than the 16 and 14 that Nolan Ryan had in his two no-hitters with the organization. Had he completed the feat, it would have marked the first time the Red Sox have been no-hit since Seattle's Chris Bosio shut them down in 1993.
But instead, it ended with Darvish exiting the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth after giving up the first hit of the game to David Ortiz.
This was the fourth time that Darvish has had a serious chance at a no-hit bid through the sixth inning, with every previous one coming against the Astros. Two of these made it to the eighth inning or later. In fact, the game was deja vu all over again from April of last year, when he was just one out away before it was broken up in the bottom of the ninth. It would have also been notable as the third no-hitter thrown by a Japanese-born pitcher, joining the two thrown by Hideo Nomo in 1996 and 2001.
That's not what this game would have been remembered for, however. It would have likely be recalled for the play that seemed to signal the end of the bid for both a no-hitter and perfect game in the seventh before being called an E9 on Alex Rios, who dropped a fly ball in shallow right field.
The drop happened as a result of a misplay by both Rios and center fielder Leonys Martin, though these types of plays are more often than not called a hit. It definitely fits in under MLB Rule 10.12, however, as the rules regarding errors state "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 scorers judgment, an outfielder at that position making ordinary effort would have caught such fly ball,". So it's technically correct, even if it's rarely called when there aren't major stakes.
Whether or not this had been scored as an error because of the game situation will inevitably be debated, but it wouldn't have matter to Darvish after so many close calls and no no-nos.