After retiring 24 consecutive batters over the first eight frames, Darvish set down Jason Castro and Carlos Corporan on routine grounders to start the ninth inning.
But Marwin Gonzalez spoiled the perfect game bid when he scorched a grounder between Darvish's legs and up the middle for a clean base hit.
Darvish (1-0) ended with 14 strikeouts in his near-gem. He tossed 111 pitches, 78 of them for strikes.
Astros starter Lucas Harrell (0-1) pitched well loss, yielding just one run on six hits over six innings.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]