Texas at Minnesota

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Texas (7-2) «0110002026131
Minnesota (2-6)0100010002131

Rangers win despite shaky Darvish

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Yu Darvish knows it's going to take time to adjust to major league hitters.

Nothing like a couple of bases-loaded situations to speed that process along.

Darvish kept wriggling out of trouble in five-plus innings, Josh Hamilton homered among his three hits and the Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 on Saturday.

"He was much better," said Rangers manager Ron Washington when asked to compare Darvish on Saturday to his first outing on April 10. "Still have to work on getting ahead of hitters quicker. But he was much better today with his command."

Adrian Beltre drove in two runs and put Texas ahead with a single in the seventh that scored Brandon Snyder, who had a career-high three hits.

The Rangers won their third straight and for the sixth time in seven games.

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Denard Span led the Twins with three hits and an RBI double that tied the game at 2 in the sixth.

But the Twins failed to score with the bases loaded on three occasions, and lost for the sixth time in their first eight games.

"The past few games, we haven't been getting hits, stringing them together," said left fielder Josh Willingham, who had two hits and has hit safely in each of the Twins' first eight games. "We had people on base almost every inning, but couldn't get the big hit."

Darvish, making his second start, was removed after hitting Jamey Carroll and walking Justin Morneau to load the bases with two outs in the sixth. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on nine hits, striking out four and walking four.

The Japanese sensation did his best work when he was in trouble on Saturday. The Twins loaded the bases in the second and the fifth, but Darvish struck out Carroll in the second and Ryan Doumit in the fifth to escape.

"That's what good pitchers do," Washington said.

Darvish also prevented a run in the fourth by tagging out Doumit at home when a pitch in the dirt bounced away from catcher Mike Napoli.

"The main adjustment I have to make right now is knowing the hitters, knowing the teams," Darvish said through an interpreter. "If I can start to learn those hitters and record them in my mind, those are the adjustments that I have to go through. It'll get much better as the season goes on."

Robbie Ross (1-0) relieved Darvish and got Morneau to pop out in foul territory to end Minnesota's bases-loaded threat in the sixth.

Twins starter Nick Blackburn was matching Darvish before leaving with one out in the sixth with right shoulder stiffness. He is day to day and will get an MRI.

Brian Duensing (0-1) relieved Blackburn and got out of the sixth without allowing a run.

Jeff Gray relieved Duensing with runners on first and third in the seventh and allowed RBI singles to Beltre and Michael Young, making it 4-2.

Mitch Moreland, the Rangers regular first baseman, was a late-scratch after being up most of the night with a painful abscessed tooth. Snyder was given his first start of the season and made the most of it.

"Any time you get a chance to get in there, it's something to remember," Snyder said. "There was no real sense of anxiety. It was just about going out and playing the game again."

Hamilton hit a 425-foot shot that sailed over the right-field bleachers and bounced high off the Target Field pavilion, putting the Rangers up 2-1 in the third.

Texas added two runs in the ninth on Beltre's double and Trevor Plouffe's throwing error.

Joe Nathan, the Twins all-time saves leader, pitched the ninth in his first appearance in Minnesota since signing with the Rangers in the offseason.

Notes

  • Washington said he hopes to get Moreland back for Tuesday's game against Boston.
  • The Twins claimed OF Clete Thomas off waivers from the Detroit Tigers and optioned Ben Revere to Triple-A Rochester. Thomas is expected to join the team before Sunday's series finale.
  • Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he plans to get Morneau some time at first base before the interleague series with Milwaukee on May 18-20. Morneau has been Minnesota's designated hitter since midway through spring training.
  • Converted closer Neftali Feliz (1-0) makes his second career start on Sunday. Feliz mixed in a changeup with his trademark power pitches in his starting debut, tossing seven shutout innings in a 1-0 win over Seattle on April 10.
  • Liam Hendriks returns from food poisoning to make his first start of the season for Minnesota. Hendriks was the Twins minor league pitcher of the year in 2011 and is 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in four career big league starts.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Doing his best work when he is in trouble, Yu Darvish gives up nine hits and walks four over 5 2/3 innings. (Getty Images)
Doing his best work when he is in trouble, Yu Darvish gives up nine hits and walks four over 5 2/3 innings. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Texas

J. Hamilton
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Minnesota

D. Span
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B5000003 .297
Elvis Andrus, SS4000110 .188
Josh Hamilton, CF-LF5331001 .378
Adrian Beltre, DH4132100 .294
Michael Young, 3B5011013 .324
Nelson Cruz, RF5130003 .206
David Murphy, LF4000012 .320
    Craig Gentry, CF1000002 .000
Mike Napoli, C3001021 .100
Brandon Snyder, 1B4130010 .750
Totals40613526  
Batting
2B - Josh Hamilton 2 (3, Blackburn, Perkins), Adrian Beltre 2 (3, Blackburn, Perkins), Nelson Cruz 2 (2, Blackburn, Burnett)
HR - Josh Hamilton (3, Blackburn)
SF - Mike Napoli (1)
RBI - Josh Hamilton (4), Adrian Beltre 2 (6), Michael Young (9), Mike Napoli (2)
2-OUT RBI - Adrian Beltre 2 (2), Michael Young (6)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Snyder-Andrus
E - Michael Young (1, Dropped line drive)
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Yu Darvish 5.2921440 4.76
Robbie Ross (W,1-0) 0.2100000 0.00
Alexi Ogando (H,4) 0.2000000 1.42
Mike Adams (H,4) 1100000 1.50
Joe Nathan 1200020 7.20
HBP - Carroll (by Yu Darvish)
WP - Yu Darvish (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Yu Darvish 101-60, Robbie Ross 15-9, Alexi Ogando 7-6, Mike Adams 19-13, Joe Nathan 26-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yu Darvish 7-5, Robbie Ross 1-1, Mike Adams 3-0, Joe Nathan 1-0
Batters Faced - Yu Darvish 30, Robbie Ross 3, Alexi Ogando 2, Mike Adams 4, Joe Nathan 5
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF5031001 .375
Jamey Carroll, SS3000014 .148
   a- Sean Burroughs, PH1000001 .000
    Trevor Plouffe, SS0000000 .143
Joe Mauer, C4010102 .258
Justin Morneau, DH4010114 .233
Josh Willingham, LF3020200 .444
Ryan Doumit, RF5010027 .217
Danny Valencia, 3B5220024 .259
Chris Parmelee, 1B5010005 .273
Alexi Casilla, 2B4020001 .222
Totals39213146  
a-grounded out for Carroll in the 8th
Batting
2B - Denard Span 2 (4, Darvish, Darvish), Josh Willingham (2, Nathan)
RBI - Denard Span (2)
2-OUT RBI - Denard Span (2)
SB - Alexi Casilla (1, 2nd base off Adams/Napoli)
Team LOB - 15
Fielding
E - Trevor Plouffe (1, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Nick Blackburn 5.1722131 5.56
Brian Duensing (L,0-1) 1.1122110 6.00
Jeff Gray 1.1200020 0.00
Glen Perkins 0.2221000 2.08
Alex Burnett 0.1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 76-50, Brian Duensing 20-11, Jeff Gray 16-12, Glen Perkins 23-15, Alex Burnett 5-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 8-5, Brian Duensing 1-2, Jeff Gray 1-1, Glen Perkins 1-2, Alex Burnett 1-0
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 24, Brian Duensing 6, Jeff Gray 6, Glen Perkins 5, Alex Burnett 2
Game Information
Attendance - 35854
Game Time - 3:27
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Cory Blaser, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Ed Hickox