Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Darvish delivers for Rangers on off night
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish wins after a Rangers' loss. He wins when he's not as his best.
Yu Darvish is 12-3 in his career after a Rangers' loss.
Again on Tuesday night, he was the Rangers' ace.
Darvish found a way to get through six innings in Tuesday's 10-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox, overcoming a hanging breaking ball that No. 9 hitter Dewayne Wise hit for a game-tying two-run homer in the top of the sixth.
Darvish bounced back with his ninth strikeout of the game, fanning Alejandro De Aza on a slider. Then Darvish took a seat in the Rangers' dugout and watched as his offense put up six runs to give him his fifth victory in April.
"He's a pitcher," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He finds something in his repertoire of pitches to find a way to get outs."
On Tuesday, that pitch was his four-seam fastball, which helped Darvish throw four shutouts innings after allowing two runs in the first. Darvish had five of his nine strikeouts during that stretch, upping his American League-leading total to 58.
Darvish allowed a season-high four runs and still boosted his record to 5-0 this season after a Rangers' loss. He's now 12-3 for his career in that situation. That's an ace.
He also became the sixth pitcher in club history to win five games in April and the first to do it since Aaron Sele and Rick Helling both pulled it off in 1998. An ace-like start.
Darvish might well have escaped the top of the first unscathed had Nelson Cruz tracked down a fly ball headed for the right-field corner. Instead it eluded Cruz's outstretched glove and Tyler Greene had a one-out triple. The White Sox turned that into two runs, but Darvish avoided giving up a big inning with a strikeout of shortstop Alexei Ramirez on a slider with runners at second and third to end the inning.
Teams have to get to Darvish in the first inning. He's allowed seven of his 10 runs in the opening frame. Even with the first-inning hiccup, and the Wise home run, Darvish ended up a winner Tuesday night.