Cole, Pirates stump Rangers, 1-0

by Dan M | Posted on Tuesday, September 10th, 2013


By Dic Humphrey

ARLINGTON – The Texas Rangers opened the most critical home stand of the season with a 1-0 loss to win the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night.

Rookie right hander Gerrit Cole out-dueled Yu Darvish, completing seven shutout innings before turning over the game to the Pirates’ bullpen.  He struck out a  career high nine batters and walked two en route to his seventh win since being called up from Indianapolis on June 11.

Pittsburgh’s Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 12th save of the year.

Darvish matched Cole almost pitch for pitch.  He shut out the Bucs for 6-2/3rds innings before surrendering back-to-back doubles to Marlon Byrd and Pedro Alvarez to plate the only run of the game.  He struck out six, walked one and hit a batter.  He came out after seven innings in which he had thrown just 81 pitches with cramping in his right leg.  The injury is not thought to be serious, and Darvish is expected to make his next start this Saturday against Oakland.  The loss moved his record to 12-8; and amazingly, the Rangers are now 14-14 in Darvish’s 28 starts.

Rangers’ manager Ron Washington was impressed with Darvish’s effort.

“The way he pitched tonight, I’ll take it,” Washington said.

The effort though was all for naught as the Rangers’ offense continues to misfire.  They have scored five or fewer runs in the last 10 games, the longest such stretch in more than a year.  The Ranger record is 3-7 in those 10 games.

Former Ranger hitting Coach Clint Hurdle is the Pirates’ manager.  Texas led the Major Leagues with a .276 batting average in 2010 when Hurdle was the hitting coach, which coincidentally was the first year the Rangers reached the World Series.  He has done a marvelous job in Pittsburgh over the three seasons since.  Pittsburgh has had 20 consecutive losing seasons, but Monday’s win was the 82nd this year, assuring the Bucs will finish over .500 for the first time since Barry Bonds patrolled left field.  They are likely in the playoffs at least as the Wild Card, but trail St. Louis by just one game for National League Central Division lead.
The loss dropped the Rangers to two games behind idle Oakland.  This home stand is critical for Texas as another week akin to the just completed 2-4 road trip would be a serious blow to the team’s chances of winning the division and would put them in a scramble with at least four teams for the two Wild Card spots.

Notes: Monday’s game was the 14th 1-0 game in the history of the ballpark and the second this season. … Left-handed pitcher Matt Harrison underwent Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery Monday performed on his right side by Dr. Greg Pearl in Dallas.  Harrison is expected to be ready for spring training. … The Rangers are now 10-8 in inter-league play this year.  Monday’s win was the first ever for the Pirates at Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington in seven tries.  Texas is 10-3 all time against Pittsburgh. … Pittsburgh is 13-5 in inter-league play this year.
The Rangers’ record is 25-15 in one run games this season.  Oakland and Kansas City lead the American League with 27 one-run wins. … Elvis Andrus stole second and third base in the sixth inning, running his season total to 39, a new career high.  He also moved into sole possession of second place in Ranger career steals with 162, one ahead of Bump Wills and eight behind Ian Kinsler.


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