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Texas at Washington

W: Y. Darvish (5-2) L: T. Roark (3-4) S: J. Soria (11)
HR: TEX - L. Martin (3)   WAS - None

Darvish strikes out 12 as Rangers topple Nationals

CBSSports.com wire reports

WASHINGTON -- After getting pummeled by Washington in two straight games, the Texas Rangers were eager to stop the Nationals' seemingly interminable parade around the bases.

Yu Darvish gave the Rangers just what they needed to avert a humbling sweep.

Darvish struck out 12 over eight innings, Leonys Martin broke open a scoreless duel with a homer in the seventh and Texas secured a 2-0 victory Sunday.

The Rangers won despite losing an apparent run in a rare double challenge on the same play. Managers Ron Washington of Texas and Matt Williams lodged separate complaints after a double steal in the first inning.

Pitching for the first time since May 22 after missing his last turn with a stiff neck, Darvish (5-2) gave up five hits and walked two in dropping his ERA to 2.08. The right-hander matched his season high in strikeouts and overpowered a club that won 9-2 on Friday and 10-2 Saturday.

"That team for two days just swung the bats at will, threw the ball around the ballpark, out of the ballpark," Washington said. "We certainly needed to try to slow them down, and (Darvish) did that. He slowed them down. Yu was good today. He was very good. When the team needed him to be very good, he was."

Joakim Soria worked a perfect ninth to earn his 11th save and seal Texas' major league-leading 11th shutout.

Darvish struck out the side in the second and fanned two in each of the next three innings before encountering trouble in the sixth. One-out singles by Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche put runners at first and third before Darvish struck out Wilson Ramos and retired Ian Desmond on a deep fly to right field.

Darvish yielded a two-out walk in the seventh and left after a 1-2-3 eighth.

"We just needed Yu to pitch well," Washington said, "and he pitched well."

Darvish was worried that neck stiffness might be a problem, but it obviously didn't turn out to be an issue.

"Last night before I went to bed, I was very scared to wake up with a neck injury so I probably woke up 20 times," he said through a translator. "But I didn't have any pain when I woke up this morning."

Darvish got the only run he needed when Martin hit an 0-1 pitch from Tanner Roark (3-4) into the Washington bullpen beyond the right-field wall. It was his third home run in 183 at-bats this season and ended the Rangers' run of homerless games at six.

Roark allowed only one run and seven hits in seven innings but lost his third straight start.

"He made one mistake to Martin, a changeup that was up in the strike zone," Williams said. "Other than that, he matched him perfectly."

Roark has lost three straight starts but owns a 3.25 ERA and has allowed only eight earned runs over his last 32 2-3 innings. In this one, he kept the Rangers at bay until Martin connected.

"It was just a bad changeup. It was up and I didn't throw it with conviction," Roark said. "That's how it's been the past couple games, just one pitch."

Donnie Murphy added an RBI single off Drew Storen in the eighth. Murphy had a season-high three hits and was flawless in his first career game at first base.

"He's a pro," Washington said of Murphy. "Every time he goes out there he does something for us."

In the first inning, both managers talked to the umpires. With two outs and runners on the corners, Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios executed a double steal. Rios was called out for coming off second base after the steal, but umpires ruled Andrus crossed the plate before the tag.

The Texas manager challenged the call at second and Williams insisted the out occurred before Andrus crossed the plate. After replays were reviewed over a span of 2 minutes, 45 seconds, Texas lost its challenge and the Nationals' assertion was confirmed.

"I might have reacted too soon," Washington acknowledged. "I should have waited until the first inning was over and I would have had my challenge. I was just trying to protect myself."

In the bottom half, Ramos looked at a third strike with two outs and runners at first and third. It was the first of five straight strikeouts for Darvish.


Rangers LF Michael Choice was scratched from the starting lineup with a bruised left shin. ... Both teams are off Monday. Washington hosts Philadelphia on Tuesday night and the Rangers face visiting Baltimore. ... Denard Span got his eighth steal in the third inning, Washington's 27th this season. Only five Nats have been caught stealing. ... Texas finished its 11-game road trip with a 7-4 record and ended a four-game road losing streak against NL foes. ... Washington fell to 4-26 when scoring fewer than four runs.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Rangers ace Yu Darvish keeps baffling batters, fanning 12 Nationals to give him 83 strikeouts in 69.1 innings pitched. (USATSI)
Rangers ace Yu Darvish keeps baffling batters, fanning 12 Nationals to give him 83 strikeouts in 69.1 innings pitched. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

D. Murphy
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

T. Roark
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 4

Related Video

Texas Rangers
Dan Robertson, LF5110001 .154
Elvis Andrus, SS4020002 .257
Alex Rios, RF4020012 .320
Adrian Beltre, 3B3000113 .291
Donnie Murphy, 1B4031000 .238
Leonys Martin, CF4111013 .277
Chris Gimenez, C4010011 .414
Luis Sardinas, 2B2000211 .235
Yu Darvish, P3000013 .000
   a-Shin-Soo Choo, PH0000100 .289
   Nick Martinez, PR0000000 .000
   Joakim Soria, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Darvish in the 9th
2B - Chris Gimenez (4, Soriano)
HR - Leonys Martin (3, Roark)
SH - Elvis Andrus (4)
RBI - Donnie Murphy (11), Leonys Martin (17)
2-OUT RBI - Donnie Murphy (5)
SB - Alex Rios (11, 2nd base off Roark/Ramos)
CS - Alex Rios (7, 2nd base by Roark/Ramos), Donnie Murphy (1, 2nd base by Roark/Ramos)
Team LOB - 9
Texas Rangers
Yu Darvish (W,5-2) 85002120 2.08
Joakim Soria (S,11) 1000020 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Yu Darvish 102-70, Joakim Soria 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yu Darvish 2-10, Joakim Soria 1-0
Batters Faced - Yu Darvish 31, Joakim Soria 3
Washington Nationals
Denard Span, CF4020001 .273
Anthony Rendon, 3B4000012 .263
Jayson Werth, RF4010012 .290
Adam LaRoche, 1B3010110 .321
Wilson Ramos, C4010024 .246
Ian Desmond, SS4000033 .226
Nate McLouth, LF4000021 .180
Danny Espinosa, 2B3000020 .202
Tanner Roark, P2000020 .176
   a-Greg Dobbs, PH0000100 .200
   Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
   Jerry Blevins, P0000000 .000
   Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Roark in the 7th
2B - Denard Span (13, Darvish)
SB - Denard Span (8, 2nd base off Darvish/Gimenez)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Rendon-Espinosa-LaRoche
E - Denard Span (1, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
Tanner Roark (L,3-4) 7711241 3.25
Drew Storen 0.2211110 1.37
Jerry Blevins 0.1000000 4.15
Rafael Soriano 1100110 0.82
IBB - Beltre by Drew Storen
Pitches-Strikes - Tanner Roark 104-67, Drew Storen 19-13, Jerry Blevins 6-4, Rafael Soriano 26-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tanner Roark 11-3, Drew Storen 1-0
Batters Faced - Tanner Roark 27, Drew Storen 5, Jerry Blevins 1, Rafael Soriano 5
Game Information
Attendance - 32813
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Clint Fagan, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Laz Diaz