ARLINGTON — The big news of the day in Arlington was the acquisition of starting pitcher Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for three prospects and the notorious “player to be named later.”
But the Rangers added another key addition Monday night in the form of a digit in the win column for the first time since July 13, snapping a four-game losing skid with a 3-0 win over the New York Yankees.
Yu Darvish made his return from the disabled list to start Monday’s game, and the two-time All-Star was dealing.
Darvish has been a stranger to run support in the 2013 campaign, but didn’t need much help Monday. He surrendered just two hits in sixth-and-a-third innings of shutout baseball.
Rangers manager Ron Washington praised Darvish’s fastball after the game.
“I thought he was pounding his fastball real good,” Washington said. “He felt strong, he was getting to 95, 96 mph.”
Darvish said he had his full repertoire of pitches, even after his long break between starts.
“I was able to locate my fastball well, especially early in the count,” he said through his translator. “I was able to throw all my pitches.”
Darvish said he handled the rest by starting his usual routine five days ago and approaching Monday’s game the same as any other start.
Washington was careful with the well-rested righty, as he pulled Darvish in favor of Robbie Ross in the seventh.
“I didn’t see [Darvish] falling off, but I knew it was hot, and he had accumulated some pitches in the fifth and sixth innings. I didn’t want to push him too hard,” Washington said.
Adrian Beltre was the first contributor at the plate, as his RBI single in the first inning put the Rangers on the scoreboard. Geovany Soto added an RBI double in the sixth that brought in Elvis Andrus.
Soto said it felt good to get a big hit and help the team win, but seemed more excited about the acquisition of his former teammate Garza.
“I feel awesome about [Garza,] I think he’ll be great here,” Soto said. “He’s a great guy to have in the clubhouse and he’s a power arm. He can improve any team in the big leagues.”
Nelson Cruz supported the insurance effort with a 412-foot home run into the Yankee bullpen in the seventh.
From there, the Texas bullpen kept the Yankees out of reach.
Tanner Scheppers delivered a scoreless eighth inning in Monday’s win, then Joe Nathan took the mound for the first time since relieving Mariano Rivera and recording the save in the All-Star Game July 16.
The Rangers didn’t have to face Rivera, as Nathan recorded save No. 31 with a scoreless ninth inning. The Yankees have now dropped five-of-six games.
The clubs meet again in at 7:05 p.m. in Arlington Tuesday.