ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Geovany Soto ended Justin Verlander's night with a three-run homer that capped a seven-run third, and Yu Darvish lasted eight innings even though an anticipated pitching duel fizzled in the Texas Rangers' 10-4 victory against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.
Soto's drive just over the wall in left field came after Verlander walked in two runs — he had three previous bases-loaded walks in his career. Mitch Moreland's two-out double broke a 3-all tie before Soto's drive put Texas ahead 8-3.
Darvish (7-1) won his fifth straight decision despite allowing two home runs for the third start in a row. Baseball's strikeout leader needed a career-high 130 pitches and matched his season low of six strikeouts.
Verlander (4-4) gave up six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 2 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since going two innings in a 14-6 loss to the New York Mets on June 22, 2010.
The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner had allowed just four earned runs in four previous starts at Rangers Ballpark. It was actually the second time in Verlander's last 16 starts dating to last season that he's allowed eight runs, his career high. He did it in a 9-8 loss to Kansas City last August.
Right after the Texas outburst, Darvish gave up a homer to Jhonny Peralta, but retired 15 of the final 16 Tigers he faced, including the last 10.
Two nights after hitting two home runs in Oakland, Moreland had two doubles and three RBIs and pushed his batting average to .296 less than a month after he was hitting .157.
Darvish ran into trouble first when five of the first six Detroit hitters in the third inning reached, starting with Don Kelly's first home run of the season into the lower porch in right field. Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez had sacrifice flies to put the Tigers ahead 3-1.
Verlander, the AL's strikeout leader the past two years, gave up consecutive singles to start the first and third innings. The Rangers scored just once in the first, but the right-hander couldn't survive the third once his control escaped him.
After Verlander hit Ian Kinsler with a curveball to loaded the bases, Elvis Andrus walked to score a run before Lance Berkman struck out on check swing on a pitch so high it bounced off the bricks behind home plate and came straight back to the catcher Kelly. Adrian Beltre walked to tie the score, and the hits from Moreland and Soto came after one of three strikeouts by Nelson Cruz, who hit his 11th homer.
Between them, Verlander and Darvish threw 74 pitches in the third inning and allowed 12 base runners and 10 runs. It wasn't quite the duel fans expected in Arlington's most anticipated pitching matchup since Nolan Ryan beat Roger Clemens 2-1 in 1989.
NOTES: The Rangers landed in Texas about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, following an afternoon game in Oakland after their charter flight was diverted to Albuquerque, N.M., because of severe storms in the Dallas area. At least six people died after tornadoes struck Granbury, about 50 miles southwest of Arlington. ... The Tigers sent RHP Al Alburquerque to Triple-A Toledo to work out issues with his control. He has 26 strikeouts in 14 1-3 innings, but has walked 13 and thrown six wild pitches. RHP Evan Reed was called up and made his major league debut in the sixth. ... Rangers C A.J. Pierzynski (strained oblique) took batting practice Thursday and could go on a short rehab assignment starting Sunday. He's eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday. ... Kinsler tied the Rangers record held by Rafael Palmeiro with his 54th hit by pitch when Verlander plunked him on the shoulder with a curveball.