Yu Darvish's recent no-hit bid now officially ended in the seventh inning, not the ninth.
Major League Baseball overturned a controversial scoring decision from Friday night's game between the Texas Rangers and Red Sox. Acting on an appeal by Boston slugger David Ortiz, MLB changed an error in the seventh to a single.
Darvish had retired the first 20 batters before Ortiz hit a popup that was ruled an error even though it wasn't touched. Ortiz added a clean single with two outs in the ninth, the only other hit against the Rangers ace from Japan who came out of the game after that.
MLB confirmed the scoring change Wednesday. But, as is routine on the numerous scoring appeals each week, the league didn't provide an explanation for the reversal.
Veteran outfielder Alex Rios and 20-year-old second baseman Rougned Odor, playing his second major league game, both were in position to catch the popup in the seventh. Instead, Rios suddenly slowed and Odor made a late lunge. The ball fell to the ground untouched between them.
Official scorer Steve Weller, in his 20th season working MLB games, charged Rios with an error. While that ended a perfect game, Darvish's no-hit bid was still intact.
Weller made a judgment call that Rios, with normal effort, could have made a routine catch.
"I don't think there's a lot of argument about that," Weller told a pool reporter after the game.
Even Ortiz acknowledged that the ball should have been caught. Rios also didn't dispute the error.
Weller watched numerous replays and conferred with Elias Sports Bureau, the sport's longtime record-keeper. He cited MLB rules that a ball doesn't have to be touched to be an error. If a fly ball drops to the ground, the official scorer can charge an error if, in his judgment, the outfielder "making ordinary effort would have caught" it.
Once Ortiz got the single in the ninth, the slugger decided to appeal the play in the seventh. He said he would have been OK with the error "if the guy's throwing a no-hitter."