When Yu Darvish struggles, you can pretty much call it game over for the Texas Rangers. With an inconsistent Darvish on the mound, the Rangers fell 8-3 to the Houston Astros Saturday night.
Darvish's struggles started early, with a 31 pitch inning to begin the night. Robbie Grossman lead off with a walk for the Astros, and then Chris Carter walked to put two men on. Jon Singleton singled to score Grossman, and Matt Dominguez singled to score Carter, giving the Astros a 2-0 lead.
Though Darvish continued with a high pitch count, he did not allow any more runs until the fifth inning. Back-to-back singles from Jason Castro and Carter, and a walk to Marc Krauss loaded the bases with no outs for Singleton. A double from Singleton scored Castro and Carter, Dominguez singled to score Krauss, and Darvish was removed from the game.Nate Adcock came in to relieve Darvish, and gave up a single to Marwin Gonzalez on the first pitch for the final run of the inning.
Darvish's four innings pitched ties for the second shortest start of his career. It was obvious from the beginning that Darvish had some consistency issues with his control, walking Carter on four pitches, and then striking out Krauss in three. It was hit or miss for Darvish, and unfortunately for the Rangers, it was miss more often Saturday night.
The Rangers had a little pop of their own in the sixth, beginning with an Elvis Andrus single. However, on the next play Andrus was called out for interference, running into second baseman Gregorio Petit while Daniel Robertson safely reached first base. Andrus really didn't have any other option but to run into Petit, but at the end of the day, the interference stuck. After it was all said and done, Jim Adduci hit his first career home run, putting the Rangers on the board, 6-2 behind Houston.
In the bottom of the inning, the Astros tacked on another run, with Adcock hitting Grossman to put a man on the bases, Carter hitting a single, and Krauss grounding out to score Grossman.
Texas once again showed a bit of a push, with three consecutive singles from Geovany Soto, Rougned Odor, and Shin-Soo Choo in the seventh. Andrus hit a sacrifice fly to score Soto, but the Rangers were unable to score any more runs from there.
Adding further insult to injury, Grossman walked again, in the eighth, and Singleton doubled again, to score Grossman. Scott Baker struck out three though, and the Rangers were able to escape with an 8-3 loss.
Some positives for the day came from stellar performances from two guys who have been struggling as of late. A hurting Choo had four hits, the first time he has accomplished such a feat since joining the Rangers this year. Rookie Phil Klein had developed a habit of giving up leadoff homers, but shut down all three Astros batters he faced, the only Rangers pitcher to do so Saturday night.
It'll be up to Nick Martinez to help the Rangers avoid yet another sweep from the Astros Sunday afternoon. Game time is slated for 1:10 p.m. CT.