Darvish Nearly Perfect

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish tips his cap to the crowd as he leaves the game after surrendering a hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Houston. Darvish pitched nine and two-thirds perfect innings before giving up a hit to Astros' Marwin Gonzalez in the Rangers' 7-0 win. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish tips his cap to the crowd as he leaves the game after surrendering a hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Houston. Darvish pitched nine and two-thirds perfect innings before giving up a hit to Astros' Marwin Gonzalez in the Rangers' 7-0 win. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish tips his cap to the crowd as he leaves the game after surrendering a hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Houston. Darvish pitched nine and two-thirds perfect innings before giving up a hit to Astros' Marwin Gonzalez in the Rangers' 7-0 win. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish tips his cap to the crowd as he leaves the game after surrendering a hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Houston. Darvish pitched nine and two-thirds perfect innings before giving up a hit to Astros' Marwin Gonzalez in the Rangers' 7-0 win. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish tips his cap to the crowd as he leaves the game after surrendering a hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Houston. Darvish pitched nine and two-thirds perfect innings before giving up a hit to Astros' Marwin Gonzalez in the Rangers' 7-0 win. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)
  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish tips his cap to the crowd as he leaves the game after surrendering a hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Houston. Darvish pitched nine and two-thirds perfect innings before giving up a hit to Astros' Marwin Gonzalez in the Rangers' 7-0 win. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

Houston (ap) — Yu Darvish was one out from a perfect game when Marwin Gonzalez grounded a clean single through the pitcher’s legs, and the Texas Rangers beat the Houston Astros 7-0 last night.

The celebrated right-hander from Japan struck out 14 and appeared to be in complete control before Gonzalez smacked the first pitch up the middle. Darvish was unable to get his glove down in time and the ball skittered into center field well beyond a desperate dive by shortstop Elvis Andrus.

Darvish put up his hands — almost like, “Oh well, it happens” — after the single. The Texas infielders immediately came to the mound, and manager Ron Washington joined them.

Washington patted Darvish on the chest and then signaled for a reliever. A crowd that included lots of Rangers fans cheered Darvish as he walked off.

He sat on the bench to watch the rest of the game, and took part in the congratulations line when it ended.

Darvish became the first pitcher to lose a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning since Armando Galarraga on June 2, 2010. Of course, the Detroit pitcher was denied only because of an infamous missed call at first base by umpire Jim Joyce, who later admitted he blew the play.

Darvish arrived in the majors last year with much fanfare, having already been a five-time All-Star and two-time MVP in Japan. The Rangers paid more than $107 million to get him for five seasons.

The 6-foot-5 righty quickly settled in with Texas, becoming an All-Star last year on the way to going 16-9 with 221 strikeouts. He also once flirted with perfection, retiring the first 17 batters at Kansas City on Sept. 3.

Orioles 7, Rays 4

St. Petersburg, Fla. — Adam Jones keyed a seventh-inning rally with a two-run, go-ahead double and Chris Davis followed with a three-run homer to help Baltimore open the season with a win over Tampa Bay.

Matt Wieters homered early off AL Cy Young Award winner David Price. Wieters later drew an intentional walk from reliever Jake McGee (0-1) before Davis’ towering shot over the right-field wall broke open the game and silenced a sellout crowd of 34,078 at Tropicana Field.

Indians 4, Blue Jays 1

Toronto — NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and overhauled Toronto struggled in its opener and lost to Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Masterson and Cleveland.

Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Dickey, Masterson pitched six innings and the Indians ended their streak of opening day losses at four.

Cleveland won its opener for the first time since beating the Chicago White Sox in 2008.

The Indians had dropped eight of their last 10 openers.