Yu Darvish gave a shutout performance, and was given run support, as the Rangers went on to defeat the Minnesota Twins 5-0.
After losing his past two starts, Yu Darvish threw eight shutout innings where he allowed only four hits. Darvish struck out ten batters, the fifth time this year he’s struck out double digit batters. Darvish now has 25 career double digit strikeout games, and is second only to Nolan Ryan for the Rangers organization record.
“I thought he was Yu Darvish again” said Rangers manager Ron Washington. “He found his offspeed stuff, he used his cutter very well tonight. He spiraled his fastball around the zone. He really was in command today and that cutter was outstanding.”
With Saturday’s win, Darvish has now thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings at home. Twins batters struggled to make significant contact with Darvish’s cutter, going 1-21 in the final innings of the game, with a walk. Whereas Darvish struggled with him command in Oakland and Los Angeles, he was spot on at home against the Twins.
“I know he’s been working on it, trying to get his mechanics back again” said catcher Chris Gimenez. “But for him to be able to throw that cutter the way he did today, he has to stay behind the ball, and he proved to me absolutely that he made that adjustment today.”
The Rangers quickly got on the board in the second, where Adrian Beltre lead off with a single. A double from Gimenez would allow Beltre to easily score after a terrible relay throw from Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon.
An additional run for the Rangers was added in the third, when Rougned Odor singled, stole second base, and then scored on a groundout from Elvis Andrus.
Texas collected another three runs in the eighth, taking advantage of a fatigued Phil Hughes. Back-to-back singles from Shin-Soo Choo and Andrus put two men on for Carlos Pena, who hit into a fielder’s choice that resulted in Choo being out, but left Andrus at third and Pena at second. Hughes intentionally walked Beltre, loaded the bases for Luis Sardinas who was pinch hitting for Donnie Murphy. A perfectly executed suicide squeeze scored Andrus and gave the Rangers their first run of the inning. In the next at-bat, Leonys Martin hit a two-run double scoring Pena and Beltre, and bringing the Rangers lead to 5-0.
“We gotta execute and we did a good job of it today” said Washington. “We squeezed, and then Martin came up and got us a double. Played solid defense. Yu gave it to us and offense put us on the board and we got another win.”
The Rangers look to earn their first sweep since April 21-23, with Colby Lewis on the mound Sunday afternoon. Game time is slated for 2:05 p.m. CT.