Since relocating to Arlington in 1972, the Rangers have thrown five no-hitters -- and Nolan Ryan has two of them -- but the club has a number of elite pitching performances in high-stakes situations.
Let’s take a look at the top five single-game pitching performances in Texas history.
1. Derek Holland: 8 1/3-inning World Series gem on Oct. 23, 2011 (Rangers 4, Cardinals 0)
The Rangers were down 2-1 in the World Series after a 16-7 loss in Game 3 at home. Holland was brilliant in pitching Texas to a 4-0 victory, holding the Cardinals to two hits and two walks while striking out seven. Albert Pujols went 0-for-4 in this game after hitting three home runs the night before. The victory allowed the Rangers to tie up the Series at two games each. Texas ended up losing in seven games, but it’s still tough to beat Holland’s performance, given the pressure and what was at stake that October night.
2. Cliff Lee: eight-inning masterpiece on Oct. 18, 2010 (Rangers 8, Yankees 0)
Lee had already turned in two excellent performances in helping the Rangers get past the Rays in the Division Series. The ALCS was tied at one game each when Lee took the mound for Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. Lee went eight scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out 13 in an 8-0 victory. Facing Andy Pettitte, Texas didn’t have this game put away until it scored six runs in the ninth. This was a pivotal win for the Rangers as they wrapped up the series in six games to advance to their first World Series.
3. Nolan Ryan: no-hitter on May 1, 1991 (Rangers 3, Blue Jays 0)
Ryan was 44 years old when he pitched the seventh no-hitter of his career in a 3-0 victory over the Blue Jays at Arlington Stadium. This was also his second no-hitter for the Rangers, having thrown one the previous season against the Athletics. Going up against a lineup that included Joe Carter, John Olerud and Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, Ryan walked just two and struck out 16. A sixth-inning fly ball into shallow center field run down easily by Gary Pettis was the closest the Blue Jays came to a hit.
4. Kenny Rogers: perfect game on July 28, 1994 (Rangers 4, Angels 0)
Rogers threw the 14th perfect game in Major League history when he retired 27 straight hitters in a 4-0 victory over the Angels. Rogers was pitching before 46,581 fans in the first season of the Ballpark in Arlington. Rogers wasn’t quite as dominant as Ryan in his no-hitter -- who is? -- but still struck out eight. Rex Hudler opened the ninth with a soft line drive into shallow center field and Rusty Greer made a belly-flop catch to keep the perfect game alive.
5. Yu Darvish: near-perfecto on April 2, 2013 (Rangers 7, Astros 0)
Darvish came within one batter of throwing a perfect game against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Darvish retired the first 26, striking out 14 before facing Marwin Gonzalez with two outs in the ninth. Gonzalez smacked a hard grounder straight up the middle that went through Darvish’s legs and into center field for a base hit. Darvish was then pulled from the game by manager Ron Washington after throwing 111 pitches, and the Rangers ended up with a 7-0 victory in the second game of the season.