Yu Darvish earned his 9th win of the season as the Texas Rangers completed a road sweep of the San Diego Padres.
Darvish pitched 8 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 8 in the 4-2 Rangers victory. Darvish also helped himself at the plate, getting his first Major League hit, a single in the 3rd inning. Texas manager Ron Washington was pleased with Darvish’s game, “The first two innings, it looked like he was trying to find his rhythm. From that point on, he wasn’t going to be denied. His breaking ball came, his cutter came, he moved the ball around the zone pretty good. He did a great job.”
Joe Nathan pitched an inning in relief to earn his 15th save of the year.
The Rangers had to manufacture their runs, as they were held to just 7 hits in the game. David Murphy, on base after a walk, stole 2nd base to set up the first Texas run in the 5th inning. Murphy scored from second on a single by Alberto Gonzalez, who was playing for shortstop Elvis Andrus.
In the very next inning, Michael Young singled and then went to 3rd on a Josh Hamilton double. Young scored when Nelson Cruz beat out a double-play attempt. After a walk to Craig Gentry loaded the bases, Josh Hamilton scored as Yorvit Torrealba was also walked.
The Rangers would score again in the 7th inning as Ian Kinsler singled and stole both 2nd and 3rd bases. Young scored Kinsler on a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Rangers manager knows what it took to win the game, “That was satisfying,” Washington said. “Today was about execution. When we had opportunities to execute, we did it.”
Texas has won 6 in a row and increased their AL West lead to 5 1/2 games. The Rangers have the day off before returning to the Ballpark in Arlington Friday night to host Colorado. Roy Oswalt will make his Texas debut on the mound.