Yu still looking to get back in W column

by Dan M | Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

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By Dic Humphrey

ARLINGTON – The Rangers’ Yu Darvish failed to win in his sixth consecutive start as Oakland beat Texas on Tuesday night, 6-2.

Darvish allowed five runs on six hits in six innings.  Two of the hits were home runs.  The win improved the Athletics’ division leading record to 43-30.  Their lead over the Rangers is back to three games after Monday’s loss.  Texas dropped to 39-32.

Darvish did strike out 10 batters, the sixth time this year he has been in double digits and the 14th since the start of last year.  Both figures lead the Majors.  However, he was far from dominant in taking his third loss against seven wins.  He walked two, threw a wild pitch and balked.  He is now 0-2 with four no-decisions since his last win on May 16, the controversial game in which he threw 15 eighth inning pitches to run up his pitch count to a career high 130 when Texas held a six run lead.  Texas is 1-5 in those starts.

Manager Ron Washington didn’t fault Darvish’s effort.

“Tonight, Yu wasn’t bad,” Washington said. “(Jarrod) Parker was better. It was a lot of stress out there.  He worked hard to get to the 109 pitches he got in.”

Brandon Moss homered leading off the second inning, and John Jaso did the same an inning later.  The A’s scratched out a second run in the third inning and scored two more in the fourth, which was a sloppy inning for Texas.  One run scored on a wild pitch and the second on a Lance Berkman error.  The Athletics touched up Joseph Ortiz for their sixth run in the eighth inning.

Washington was complimentary of Oakland’s hitters.

“They fight for their at-bats,” Washington said. “They battle.  When they get a pitch they like, they don’t miss them.”

Jarrod Parker was the Athletics’ starting and winning pitcher.  He is always tough on Texas, as he improved to 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA in five career starts against the Rangers.  He was a hot pitcher coming into the game, having gone 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his previous four starts.  Texas did nothing to change his fortunes Tuesday night as he evened his record at 6-6 for the year.  He breezed through seven innings on 91 pitches, 57 (63%) of which were strikes, giving up two runs on three hits.

Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour finished off the Rangers in the eighth and ninth innings, allowing no base runners.

The Rangers scored their two runs in the third on an A. J. Pierzynski single that plated Leonys Martin and Ian Kinsler.  Kinsler crashed into catcher John Jaso on the play and sustained a cut on his left cheek that required three stitches.  It turned into a small controversy as home plate umpire Paul Nauert allowed a significant delay to the start of the fourth inning so that Kinsler could get the stitches and remain in the game.  Oakland manager Bob Melvin complained to no avail.
After that third inning, Texas never got another hit as they tied their season low with three hits.  The only two base runners after the third inning were David Murphy, who reached on an error and Craig Gentry, who was hit by a pitch.
The series continues Wednesday with the Rangers sending out Justin Grimm (5-5, 5.59) to face Oakland’s Tommy Milone (6-6, 3.61).

Notes: A Texas starting pitcher is yet to win a game in June, a club record stretch of 17 consecutive games. … Mitch Moreland was 3-4 in his first minor league rehab appearance with AA Frisco Tuesday night.  He is expected to be activated for Friday’s game in St. Louis. … Jurickson Profar started Monday’s game as the Rangers’ designated hitter.  He became the youngest Ranger ever and the fourth youngest player to be the designated hitter at the age of 20 years, 117 days.  Claudel Washington (1974 for Oakland), Butch Wynegar (1976 for Minnesota) and B. J. Upton (2004 for Tampa Bay) are the three that appeared as a designated hitter at a younger age. … The Rangers are in the midst of playing 20 of 26 games in Arlington.  The final two games of this series will complete an 11 game home stand, followed by six inter-league games in St. Louis and New York.  Texas then returns home for three three-game series against Cincinnati, Seattle and Houston.

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