Moreland makes pivotal play in Darvish's perfect-game quest

Moreland makes pivotal play in Darvish's perfect-game quest

HOUSTON -- First baseman Mitch Moreland made the play to remember if Yu Darvish had completed his quest for a perfect game on Tuesday night.

With one out in the fifth, Rick Ankiel pulled a soft line drive to the right side. Moreland moved quickly to his right and jumped to snag the ball. It was the closest the Astros came to getting a hit before the ninth inning, and it would have been the defensive play everybody talked about afterwards if Darvish had thrown a perfect game.

"I had to move a little bit, but he didn't hit it very well," Moreland said. "I don't know if he either got jammed or hit it off the end of the bat, but I was able to get to it."

The only other close call was also in the fifth. Chris Carter led off the inning with a high drive to deep left, but David Murphy had plenty of time to get it. He caught it almost up against the wall in left-center field.

"There really weren't a whole lot of tough plays, as dominating as he was," Moreland said. "That's the most dominating performance I've ever seen."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.