It was a long, four hour game in LA, but the Rangerswere able to score early and score often, giving Yu Darvish the run support he deserves, as they defeated the Los Angeles Angels 14-3.
The Rangers took an early lead in the first, as Shin-Soo Choo's leadoff single was followed by a single from Adrian Beltre, then a RBI double from Prince Fielder to put the Rangers on the board. A single from Michael Choice would score Beltre, and a sac-fly from J.P Arencibia would score Fielder, giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
The Angels responded as Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols both hit solo homers off Darvish in the bottom of the first, but Darvish was able to get his pitches, as well as hit pitch count, under control to allow the Rangers to run away with the game.
'That's what aces do' said Fielder. 'They might struggle a little bit but even on their worst days, they still do better than a lot of people.'
Texas added two more runs in the second as a struggling Elvis Andrus landed on base with a single, and was brought home as Daniel Robertson earned his first Major League RBI on a fielder's choice. Fielder's second RBI double of the game gave Robertson a chance to demonstrate his speed as he flew around the bases, and the Rangers led the game 5-2.
'I was just trying to see the ball well and hit it hard' said Fielder. 'I think for the most part seeing the ball comes first before you can hit it hard. Today I was able to see the ball, and hopefully that's my approach from here on out.'
Four more runs for the Rangers would come off home runs, as Arencibia launched his first home run of the year, a solo shot to left field, in the third. Choice would hit a three-run monster in the fourth, giving the Rangers a 9-2 lead.
'I've been really positive and I've been hitting the ball hard all year' said Arencibia who had three hits coming into today's game. 'Hitting hard is what's kept me positive. All I can say is, it's about time.'
The Angels would tack on one more run off Darvish in the seventh, but the Rangers would go on to score five runs in the top of the ninth, as Andrus and Beltre each had a RBI of their own before Rios claimed three RBI's of his own off a triple to right field. The fourteen hits and fourteen runs scored were enough, as they destroyed the Angels 14-3.
The eight runs the Rangers scored for Darvish were more than they have been able to produce for him on the mound the rest of the season combined. That, along with an ace-worthy performance from Darvish and another shutout appearance from Nick Martinez in relief, were all the Rangers needed to win the series.
'We may not put up runs every day, but we can certainly be more consistent and today there were hits throughout the lineup, which is what we need' said Rangers manager Ron Washington. 'You saw Prince was much better, Beltre had some good at-bats, even Elvis had some good at-bats. Rios swung the bat, Choo did what he always does and got on the bases, and Arencibia found what he's been looking for.'
The Rangers now head to Colorado to face the Rockies in their first interleague play on the road. Martin Perez will pitch, and bat, in a game that is slated to begin at 7:40 p.m. CT.