Bartolo Colon made a stunning bid for a perfect game Sunday night before it was broken up in the eighth inning.
And though his no-hitter and shutout disappeared in a three-batter stretch, the Texas Rangers at least made sure Colon’s efforts didn’t happen in a losing cause.
Robinson Chirinos scorched a two-run double in the top of the 10th inning, lifting Texas to a 3-1 win over the host Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Chirinos’ hit off Hector Rondon (1-1) made a winner of Keone Kela (2-0), who escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the ninth. Jake Diekman stranded two runners in the bottom of the 10th to earn his first save.
The storyline most of the night was Colon, who in just his second start for Texas turned the clock back to the guy who once won a Cy Young Award and has posted 240 wins in a solid 22-year career.
Spotting his fastball to perfection and even touching the low 90s at times, Colon mowed down the first 21 hitters he faced, recording seven strikeouts and starting the first 14 hitters off with strikes. Only a couple of those 21 outs could be considered anything besides routine, and none were truly spectacular.
However, Colon’s attempt at history ended in the eighth inning. He missed high with a 3-1 pitch to Carlos Correa for a walk to start the inning, then ceded his first hit when Josh Reddick lashed a double into the right field corner.
Yuli Gurriel cashed in Correa with a sacrifice fly to center, and Marwin Gonzalez lined out to center before Rangers manager Jeff Banister hooked Colon. The 44-year-old veteran’s final line was 7 2/3 innings, one hit, one run, a walk and seven strikeouts.
Houston starter Justin Verlander was every bit as good, although his brilliance was under the radar on this night. His only mistake was a third-inning curveball over the middle of the plate that Chirinos popped into the left field stands for his second homer of the year.
Verlander finished with 11 strikeouts in eight innings, permitting just one hit, one run and one walk.
—Field Level Media