Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish held the Astros to one hit over seven innings in Monday’s 6-1 win. Eric Christian Smith AP
Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish held the Astros to one hit over seven innings in Monday’s 6-1 win. Eric Christian Smith AP

Texas Rangers

Yu Darvish adds another dominant performance against Astros

By Stefan Stevenson

sstevenson@star-telegram.com

June 12, 2017 10:48 PM

HOUSTON

Yu Darvish has had his share of brilliant moments against the Houston Astros.

Of course, he had near no-hitters in both April and August of 2013, striking out a career-high 15 batters in that August dance with destiny.

Monday’s outing at Minute Maid Park, while not as statistically dazzling as those previous games, was in some ways more dominating.

Darvish held the Astros to one hit (and three walks) through seven innings as the Rangers took the series opener 6-1 and extended their win streak to four games.

The Rangers’ ace right-hander improved his record to 6-4 and earned his first win since May 21.

Darvish only struck out four, but using an off-speed mix he kept the Astros off-balance at the plate.

Only once did the Astros get a base runner beyond first base. That didn’t come until Carlos Beltran led off the fifth with a walk. He moved to second on a groundout to first, a play in which first baseman Joey Gallo was hoping to go to second for the double play attempt but held off with Beltran already nearly to the bag.

The Astros’ lone run scored on their first hit of the night, a soft liner from Alex Bregman that left-fielder Nomar Mazara trapped in shallow left, which allowed Beltran to come around to score with two outs.

Darvish returned to retire seven of the next eight batters before giving way to the bullpen after Mazara’s three-run homer in the eighth gave him a five-run cushion.

Mazara’s homer was estimated at 430 feet to dead center field. It came on the first pitch he saw from Astros reliever Dayan Diaz.

Rangers reliever Jeremy Jeffress started the eighth and worked around a hit batter and walk before getting Jose Altuve to ground out to end the inning.

The Rangers scored twice in the second inning against Joe Musgrove. With two outs, Jonathan Lucroy singled before consecutive triples by Rougned Odor and Gallo.

Odor tripled to the wall in left-center field to score Lucroy, and Gallo tripled off the top of the wall in right to score Odor. Gallo tried to come home when the relay throw go away from the catcher but he was thrown out at the plate.

In the sixth, Elvis Andrus drew a one-out walk for the Rangers and Adrian Beltre followed with a double to drive him home and make it 3-1.

Darvish used his slider, curveball and cut fastball effectively.

Since 2010, the Rangers have had a starting pitcher go at least seven innings while allowing one or zero hits five times. Darvish has four of those, all against the Astros.

Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels held the Tigers to one hit over seven innings in Detroit on May 6, 2016.

The Rangers remain in a massive hole in the American League West, especially against the first-place Astros, who have won six of the first eight meetings and have the best record in the majors.

The Astros, however, have lost five of their past seven games after winning a league-high 11 consecutive games, which included a three-game sweep of the Rangers in Arlington.

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

Texas

020

001

030

6

9

0

Houston

000

010

000

1

2

0

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields cf

3

1

1

0

1

0

.294

Hoying cf

1

0

0

0

0

1

.228

Choo rf

4

1

1

0

0

0

.255

Andrus ss

3

1

0

0

1

1

.297

Beltre 3b

4

0

2

1

0

1

.351

Mazara lf

4

1

1

3

0

1

.287

Lucroy dh

4

1

1

0

0

0

.260

Odor 2b

4

1

2

1

0

0

.210

Gallo 1b

3

0

1

1

1

2

.203

Chirinos c

4

0

0

0

0

3

.000

Totals 34

6

9

6

3

9

Houston AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Springer cf

4

0

0

0

0

0

.274

Reddick rf

1

0

0

0

0

0

.281

Gonzalez lf

1

0

0

0

2

1

.311

Altuve 2b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.317

Correa ss

4

0

1

0

0

2

.294

Beltran dh

3

1

0

0

1

0

.234

McCann c

4

0

0

0

0

2

.265

Gurriel 1b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.271

Bregman 3b

2

0

1

1

1

0

.248

Aoki lf-rf

2

0

0

0

0

0

.265

Totals 29

1

2

1

4

5

LOB—Texas 4, Houston 6. 2B—Beltre (4), Correa (13). 3B—Odor (2), Gallo (2). HR—Mazara (8), off Diaz. RBIs—Beltre (7), Mazara 3 (44), Odor (26), Gallo (37), Bregman (23). SB—DeShields (14), Choo (6), Odor (6), Aoki (4). Runners left in scoring position—Texas 2 (Lucroy, Hoying); Houston 3 (Springer, Altuve, Gurriel). RISP—Texas 2 for 8; Houston 1 for 7. Runners moved up—McCann. GIDP—Choo. DP—Houston 2 (Altuve, Correa, Gurriel), (McCann, Altuve).

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Darvish, W, 6-4

7

1

1

1

3

4

103

0.00

Jeffress

2

1

0

0

1

1

33

5.04

Houston

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Musgrove, L, 4-5

4 2/3

5

2

2

1

2

75

0.00

Devenski

1 1/3

1

1

1

1

0

18

0.00

Sipp

1

1

2

2

1

2

18

0.00

Diaz

2

2

1

1

0

5

37

9.45

Sipp pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.

Inherited runners-scored—Devenski 1-0, Diaz 2-2. HBP—Jeffress (Aoki). WP—Diaz. Umpires—Home, CB Bucknor; First, Mark Carlson; Second, Manny Gonzalez; Third, Fieldin Culbreth. T—3:23. A—25,698 (42,060).

Rangers at Astros

7:10 p.m. Tuesday, FSSW, Root

Darvish’s Astros dominance

Since 2010, Rangers starting pitchers have held opponents to one hit in seven or more innings five times. Yu Darvish has done it four times, all against the Astros.

Date

Opp.

Pitch (Dec.)

IP

H

April 3, 2013

at HOU

Darvish (W)

8.2

1

Aug. 12, 2013

at HOU

Darvish (W)

8.0

1

April 11, 2014

vs. HOU

Darvish (ND)

8.0

1

May 6, 2016

at DET

Hamels (W)

7.0

1

June 12, 2017

at HOU

Darvish (W)

7.0

1

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