Texas at Tampa Bay

Darvish, Andrus key Rangers win over Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Yu Darvish showed no rust after missing three weeks.

Darvish allowed seven hits over seven innings in his season debut, Elvis Andrus hit a two-run homer, and the Texas Rangers avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 on Sunday.

"He was in control of the game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was using his pitches. He was throwing strikes. And that's what he does."

Darvish (1-0) struck out six and walked one. Sidelined by neck stiffness, it was his first outing since a spring training game on March 16.

"I didn't feel anything unusual," Darvish said through an interpreter.

Darvish got his 500th career strikeout, coming in 401 2-3 innings, by fanning David DeJesus and Wil Myers in the first. According to the Rangers, it is the fewest innings for a starter to reach 500 strikeouts in major league history.

Andrus put the Rangers up 2-0 with his homer off Joel Peralta (0-1) in the eighth. Donnie Murphy made it 3-0 on an RBI infield during the ninth.

"He's going to get five a year, and today was one of them," Washington said of Andrus' homer. "It was huge. We needed it. Today, he drove the bus."

Neal Cotts replaced Alexi Ogando for the Rangers with two on and two outs in the eighth, and struck out Matt Joyce on a 3-2 pitch. Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his first save.

Alex Cobb scattered three hits, walked one and struck out six in seven shutout innings for the Rays.

"Unfortunately for us, he was really on," Cobb said of Darvish.

Only one runner reached second against Cobb.

"He didn't give up any pitches," Andrus said. "I thought he was painting the whole game. I'm really glad that we had Yu out there. He was doing the same thing for us."

Tampa Bay had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but failed to score when Myers hit an infield pop fly and Ben Zobrist flew out.

Darvish got three consecutive outs after allowing Evan Longoria's double to lead off the sixth. He also worked out of a jam during the seventh after Ryan Hanigan hit a leadoff double.

"We just did not get the knocks when we needed it," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.

The Rays were hitless in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position against Darvish, and 0 for 11 overall.

"As usual, you've got a team over there that fights forever," Washington said. "They put themselves in some good positions to score some runs, but Yu made the pitches when he had to."


Darvish was activated from the 15-day disabled list and RHP Nick Martinez was optioned to Double-A Frisco. ... Rangers RHP Colby Lewis (hip surgery) gave up four runs and four hits over five innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Round Rock. ... Texas LHP Joe Saunders (bruised left ankle) is not expected to be ready for his regular bullpen session Monday and could miss his next start. ... Texas RHP Tanner Scheppers (0-0) will face Boston RHP John Lackey (1-0) Monday night in the opener of a three-games series at Fenway Park. ... Tampa Bay LHP Matt Moore (0-1) and Royals LHP Jason Vargas (0-0) are the scheduled starters for Monday night's game in Kansas City.

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Yu Darvish becomes the fastest in MLB history to reach 500 strikeouts, needing just 401 2/3 innings.  (USATSI)
Yu Darvish becomes the fastest in MLB history to reach 500 strikeouts, needing just 401 2/3 innings. (USATSI)

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Shin-Soo Choo, LF4110011 .273
Elvis Andrus, SS4112020 .333
Prince Fielder, 1B4000000 .167
Adrian Beltre, 3B3100100 .238
Alex Rios, RF4010011 .348
Mitch Moreland, DH4010011 .263
Donnie Murphy, 2B4021001 .273
Leonys Martin, CF4000011 .273
J.P. Arencibia, C3010011 .154
Yu Darvish, P0000000 .000
   Alexi Ogando, P0000000 .000
   Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
   Joakim Soria, P0000000 .000
HR - Elvis Andrus (1, Peralta)
RBI - Elvis Andrus 2 (3), Donnie Murphy (1)
2-OUT RBI - Elvis Andrus 2 (3), Donnie Murphy (1)
Team LOB - 5
Texas Rangers
Yu Darvish (W,1-0) 7700160 0.00
Alexi Ogando (H,1) 0.2100100 6.00
Neal Cotts (H,1) 0.1000010 7.71
Joakim Soria (S,1) 1000000 0.00
WP - Yu Darvish (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Yu Darvish 89-65, Alexi Ogando 10-6, Neal Cotts 6-3, Joakim Soria 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yu Darvish 3-12
Batters Faced - Yu Darvish 29, Alexi Ogando 4, Neal Cotts 1, Joakim Soria 3
Tampa Bay Rays
David DeJesus, DH5020011 .250
Wil Myers, RF4000014 .217
Ben Zobrist, 2B4020013 .250
Evan Longoria, 3B4010002 .360
James Loney, 1B4010002 .263
Desmond Jennings, CF3010112 .308
Matt Joyce, LF4000025 .412
Ryan Hanigan, C3010111 .357
Yunel Escobar, SS4000002 .208
Alex Cobb, P0000000 .000
   Joel Peralta, P0000000 .000
   Josh Lueke, P0000000 .000
   Cesar Ramos, P0000000 .000
2B - David DeJesus (2, Darvish), Evan Longoria (2, Darvish), Ryan Hanigan (1, Darvish)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Escobar-Loney
E - Evan Longoria (1, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
Alex Cobb 7300160 3.00
Joel Peralta (L,0-1) 1222011 6.00
Josh Lueke 0.2210000 3.86
Cesar Ramos 0.1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Cobb 97-65, Joel Peralta 23-13, Josh Lueke 19-14, Cesar Ramos 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Cobb 6-9, Joel Peralta 1-1, Josh Lueke 2-0, Cesar Ramos 1-0
Batters Faced - Alex Cobb 25, Joel Peralta 5, Josh Lueke 4, Cesar Ramos 1
Game Information
Attendance - 22569
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt