ADVERTISEMENT

Texas starter Yu Darvish delivered against the Twins on Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Darvish pitched eight shutout innings as the Rangers won 5-0.

Tony Gutierrez, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Darvish is dominant as Rangers send Twins to fifth loss in a row

  • Article by: La VELLE E. NEAL III
  • Star Tribune
  • June 29, 2014 - 6:15 AM

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Their manager gave them a verbal pat on the back Friday night after a rally fell one run short. But the last thing the struggling Twins needed to see was Rangers ace Yu Darvish on a mound the next day.

“It’s coming at the wrong time,” Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said, “when you are on a little skid.”

Darvish and his array of pitches shut down the Twins for eight innings, allowing the Rangers to pull away to a 5-0 win at Globe Life Stadium. Darvish (8-4) held the Twins to four hits and one walk while striking out 10 — the fifth time this season he’s hit double digits in strikeouts. Darvish gave way to Neal Cotts in the ninth, who completed the fifth shutout of the Twins this season.

The Twins have now lost five games in a row to fall a season-worst seven games under .500. They have lost 10 consecutive on the road. And they need a win on Sunday to avoid an 0-6 road trip.

“This stretch going into the All-Star break, we were talking about it and we match up with every one of them pretty good,” Dozier said. “But good teams win on the road, and we’re not finding ways to do that. We need to change some things.”

The Twins began the trip 17-21 on the road, which isn’t far from being acceptable.

Nine of those wins were by two or fewer runs, so the trait of winning close road games was there.

After taking two of three games from AL East-leading Toronto on June 9-11 they have lost their next four road series.

“Somebody has to get a big hit,” said Dozier, who was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. “They did that. We didn’t.”

Joe Mauer was able to extend his hitting streak to nine games with a single in first inning. Their big threat came in the second. Oswaldo Arcia singled to center and Chris Parmelee hit a one-out single to put runners on first and second.

After Eduardo Escobar flied out to center, a Darvish wild pitch allowed the runners to move up to second and third. But Pedro Florimon, 0-for-11 since being called up last week, flied out to center to end the inning,

Darvish put his foot down then, retiring 16 of the next 17 Twins. He blew them away with fastballs, got them to look silly chasing his slider and froze them with a breaking ball — with home plate umpire Bill Welke being generous with a couple of calls on curveballs near the corners. Baltimore is now the only AL team Darvish has not defeated.

“Most of those guys who are big winners in this league have that second gear,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That’s why they are big winners.”

Twins righthander Phil Hughes gave up a RBI double to Chris Gimenez in the second and Rougned Odor scored on a squibber to the mound in the third. Hughes cruised until the eighth, when Texas tacked on three more runs. Hughes (8-4) gave up a season-high 11 hits and, for the third time this month, gave up five earned runs. He wasn’t good enough, but he wasn’t as bad as his line suggested.

“We know some days you’re going to have to be a little bit better than others,” Hughes said. “Surrendering a run there early kind of sealed the fate for us today unfortunately with Yu on.’’



 

© 2014 Star Tribune