Seven innings of four-hit baseball and just one run allowed by Rangers starter Yu Darvish were not enough to take down the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night.
Back-to-back Pittsburgh doubles with two outs in the seventh inning produced the only run scored in a 1-0 Pirates win over the Rangers.
Marlon Byrd doubled down the left field line and Pedro Alvarez found the left-center gap off of Darvish after two quick outs to start the seventh frame. Byrd was the first runner to advance past first base.
Darvish left the game after seven innings and only 81 pitches, the fewest pitches he’s thrown in a game in his two seasons with Texas. Darvish was feeling cramps in his right leg, and first reports don’t label the injury as serious.
Before Yu’s exit, Darvish and Pirates starter Gerrit Cole went pitch-for-pitch in the epitome of a pitchers’ duel in Arlington.
Cole also pitched seven innings, allowing just three hits and striking out nine en route to posting seven zeros in the Ranger box score.
It took the two starters needed a combined 69 pitches (Darvish 35, Cole 34) to work through three innings, and the game was in the fifth inning by the time it was an hour old.
Darvish needed only 64 pitches to get through six innings. A 30-pitch sixth inning for Cole put his total at 83.
The Rangers recorded two walks and three stolen bases, including a double steal to put runners at second and third with two outs, in the sixth inning. But Adrian Beltre grounded out to end the inning with nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
Jim Adduci, who started the game in left field, left the game with an apparent right biceps injury after striking out against Cole to end the fifth inning.
Adduci saw only seven pitches from Cole and struck out in both of his at-bats. The rookie outfielder is listed as day-to-day.
Cole threw only 13 balls to his first 17 batters. He finished with 64 strikes on 92 pitches (69 percent) in the game.
Tony Watson and Mark Melancon pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively, to complete the Pittsburgh shutout.
The two teams combined for just 10 hits in the game.
Beltre slapped a two-out single through the shortstop hole off Melancon in the ninth, but Melancon induced an A.J. Pierzynski ground ball to end the game and earn his thirteenth save of the season.
McCutchen tripled with one out in the ninth inning before being gunned down at home trying to score on a ground ball to second place. Ian Kinsler cut off the run, keeping the deficit at one.
Darvish (12-8, 2.84 ERA) has 20 quality starts in 28 games (71 percent) this season. The Rangers have produced no more than four runs in the last six Darvish starts.
The Pirates clinched their first winning season since 1992 with win no. 82 on the season, snapping a four-game losing streak.
The loss moves the Rangers two games behind Oakland in the AL West. The A’s were idle Monday.
Game two with the Pirates is slated for 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.