Royals mowed down by Darvish in loss to Rangers

Associated Press Published: September 3, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Yu Darvish did not throw a no-hitter, though there was some concern in the Kansas City dugout that he might.

Darvish retired the first 17 batters, Texas hit five home runs and the Rangers beat the Royals 8-4 Monday in a game that turned testy.

The Royals did not get a baserunner until Johnny Giavotella walked on a close pitch with two outs in the sixth. David Lough, the next batter, ended the no-hitter with a bloop single to center.

"I turned to (bench coach) Chino (Cadahia) in about the fifth inning and said 'Boy, this guy's got a shot,'" Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He had a 97-mile-an-hour fastball, a 95-mile-an-hour cutter, a 92 splitter and he's throwing 68 to 64 on the curve.

"The variation in speeds was tremendous. It was the first time we've seen him. It was our first time seeing him and he was fantastic."

Lough, playing in just his third major league game, hit it just out of the reach of Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.

"It takes one hit sometimes and other guys can feed off it," Lough said. "I saw him going back for it and I was hoping it would fall in.

"He was definitely switching it up on us. His off-speed stuff was working well, keeping us off balance."

The only opposing pitcher to throw a no-hitter against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium is Darvish's boss, Rangers president Nolan Ryan on May 15, 1973.

Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz homered on consecutive pitches in the sixth inning. Cruz watched his drive sail over the wall, then was hit by Louis Coleman's first pitch leading off the ninth.

Cruz took a few steps to the mound, but was restrained by catcher Brayan Pena. The dugouts and bullpens emptied, but only words were exchanged. Both teams were issued a warning by plate umpire Mike Everitt.

"We were trying to pitch in on him, to keep him from extending his arms," Yost said. "You saw what he did the last at-bat when he got his arms extended. We were just trying to pitch him in."

Michael Young answered that by homering on the next pitch.

Josh Hamilton hit his 38th homer and Geovany Soto added a three-run shot as Texas won for the ninth time in 12 games. The AL West leaders moved a season-high 26 games over .500 with some more pop after they hit four homers Sunday in an 8-3 victory at Cleveland.

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