Twins fall flat against Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish returned to his saltiest form on Saturday, helping the Texas Rangers make quick work of the Minnesota Twins. The Rangers' right-hander struck out 10 hitters over eight shutout innings in the Rangers' 5-0 victory. Da...
ARLINGTON, Texas - Yu Darvish returned to his saltiest form on Saturday, helping the Texas Rangers make quick work of the Minnesota Twins.
The Rangers’ right-hander struck out 10 hitters over eight shutout innings in the Rangers’ 5-0 victory.
Darvish struck out 10 or more in a game for the 25th time in his career and fifth time this season in helping Texas to its second consecutive victory.
Darvish (8-4) rebounded from a less-than-stellar start in his last outing, when he gave up five runs on five hits, including two home runs, in six innings of a loss to Anaheim.
On Saturday, he allowed four hits and walked one in shutting down the Twins, who lost for the fifth straight game.
“I thought he was Yu Darvish again,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “He found his off-speed stuff, he used his cutter very well, spotted his fastball around the zone. He really was in command today.”
Third baseman Adrian Beltre was 3-for-3 with an intentional walk, and center fielder Leonys Martin had a two-run double in Texas’ three-run eighth that sealed victory.
Catcher Chris Gimenez and shortstop Elvis Andrus also had RBIs for Texas (37-43).
Left-handed reliever Neal Cotts pitched a perfect ninth.
Right-handed pitcher Phil Hughes (8-4) suffered his second loss on the road in 2014 after giving up five runs on a season-high 11 hits and one walk in 7⅔ innings. He struck out six.
Hughes, nonetheless, is 7-3 with a 2.82 ERA since April 26.
Darvish “is really good. He gets guys chasing out of the zone,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was really good, but so was our guy. Phil threw the ball great, pitched his tail off. His results didn’t turn out as good as they should have been.”
Minnesota (36-43) has lost 10 straight on the road.
Just three Twins hitters got to a three-ball count on Darvish, who allowed just one runner to reach third after giving up two singles in the second. He set down 18 of the last 20 hitters he faced, striking out four of seven hitters in the fifth and sixth innings.
“I think it ticked him off a little,” Gimenez said of the second inning. “He did an awesome job of locating his cutter. And they kept swinging at it.”
Said Gardenhire: “Those big shooters (in the league) have a second level when they get in trouble. They rear back and let it fly. He doesn’t give you a whole lot to take good swings at.”
Gimenez’s double in the second gave Darvish the only run he needed, although the Rangers added another with Andrus’ RBI groundout in front of the plate that scored second baseman Rougned Odor from third.
Insurance came in the form of three runs in the eighth, keyed by Martin’s double down the right-field line.
“I thought it was good with something like this,” Darvish said of reverting to form. “I can’t say I was disappointed. I think I did pretty well.”
- Rangers LHP pitcher Derek Holland participated in a simulated game on Saturday, throwing 67 pitches in three innings. Club officials said he will stay in Texas while the team hits the road for the start of a six-game trip to Baltimore and New York. He will be reevaluated when the club returns home.
- Texas RF Alex Rios, mired in an 8-for-51 slump, including 0-for-15 in his last four games, was out of the lineup for the first time since being acquired in a trade last season, a span of 126 consecutive games. Washington said he simply wanted to give Rios a day of rest.
- This three-game series features three of the youngest players in the major leagues. Texas 2B Rougned Odor and Minnesota INF Jorge Polanco both are 20, while Rangers INF Luis Sardinas is a month past his 21st birthday.