The Texas Rangers were able to bounce back after their streak ending loss yesterday. A solid outing by Darvish and a hitting barrage by the offense helped lead to a 5-2 victory.
Yu Darvish was on the bump for the Texas Rangers tonight and had yet another strong performance. He didn’t have the same command he’s had over the past couple of outings though; causing him to toss 105 pitches in just 5 innings.
However, that didn’t keep him from getting plenty of swings-and-misses before exiting the game. His slider was as lively as ever as you can see when he strikes out J.D. Martinez in his first at bat. That would be the first of seven strikeouts on the night.
There’s an interesting article on ESPN.com by Sam Miller that talks about how Yu Darvish is the worst pitcher in the game for the first two minutes. Whether or not that’s always true, it held up tonight as Ian Kinsler homered to lead off the game for the Tigers, tying things up at 1-1.
Luckily, Darvish recovers quickly and that would be the only run he allowed that inning. The Rangers regained the lead in the second on a single by Robinson Chirinos. It didn’t take long for Detroit to even things back up.
In the bottom of the inning, Miguel Cabrera did what he’s been doing for years. He kept his nose down on a nice pitch by Darvish and drove it into center for an RBI single. Darvish struck out Martinez again to end the inning but the Tigers had tied things back up at 2-2.
The game would remain that way until the fifth when Mike Napoli unloaded on a ball for a mammoth shot to dead away center. He hit it so far that it actually landed on the platform with the center field cameras, a 446 foot blast, giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead. Texas didn’t relinquish their lead for the rest of the game.
Recent pickup, Pete Kozma, collected his first home run in a Rangers uniform to give them another insurance run. Lucroy’s double in the ninth to score Odor would give Texas 5 runs and complete their scoring for the night.
The bullpen was great behind Darvish, holding the Tigers scoreless and securing a win for him. Alex Claudio came in first and was his classic self. He threw just 10 pitches in 1.1 innings and all save one were strikes.
Sam Dyson relieved him in the seventh and had his best outing of the year. Coming into tonight, Dyson had just 2 strikeouts on the year, the last one coming on April 11. In his 1.2 innings tonight, he collected 3. That’s thanks in large part to his fastball; which is finally starting to have the sinking action on it that produced so many ground balls and strikeouts last year.
Despite the bad rap he’s gotten after a slow start to the season, Dyson has been pretty good since returning from the DL. His ERA since then is sitting at just a 1.80 and each of his outings are getting better. I don’t expect him to be returning to the closing role any time soon but his usage should increase if he continues to improve.
Keone Kela closed the game out and sat the Tigers down in order. He recorded two strikeouts in addition to his first save of the year. The Rangers won the game 5-2 and took the series in Detroit. It’s the fourth series in a row that they’ve come out on top of.
The Rangers will have a off day tomorrow before they travel to Boston to take on the Red Sox in what ought to be a fun series. Andrew Cashner (2.45 ERA, 1-3) will get the first start as he faces off against Rick Porcello (4.23 ERA, 2-5).