Darvish, Rangers down Jays
BY Associated Press
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
5/01/12 at 4:51 AM
TORONTO (AP) - Yu Darvish acknowledged it felt strange to face the Blue Jays. That didn't stop him from shutting down their lineup.
Darvish won his third straight start, Mitch Moreland and Craig Gentry homered and the Texas Rangers beat Toronto 4-1 on Monday night.
Pitching against a Blue Jays team that reportedly pursued him when his rights went up for auction last December made Darvish (4-0) a little uneasy as he took the mound.
"Honestly, it was kind of an awkward feeling because rumor has it that this was a team that might have posted for me and there was some chance that I might have played for this team," Darvish said through a translator. "Facing the Blue Jays, they could have been my teammates."
Toronto might have wished that themselves on this night, scratching out just one run and four hits in seven innings against the Japanese sensation, the first starting pitcher in Rangers history to win four of his first five games.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Darvish was "outstanding" and "as good as advertised," while Rangers skipper Ron Washington called him "electric."
"He had good stuff," Washington said. "Once again, the most impressive thing about him was when he got people on the bag, he made pitches. That's what good pitchers do."
Darvish allowed his first home run but remained unbeaten in five major league starts. He walked two and struck out nine. In winning his past three starts, Darvish has allowed just two earned runs over 21 2/3 innings against Detroit, the New York Yankees and Toronto. His season ERA is 2.18.
AL West-leading Texas won for the 17th time in April, matching the 1989 team for the second-most victories in the season's opening month.
Moreland and Gentry, the eighth and ninth hitters in Texas' lineup, swatted back-to-back solo shots off rookie left-hander Evan Crawford in the seventh, giving Darvish some extra cushion.
Texas catcher Mike Napoli (left) celebrates with Craig Gentry, who hit a solo home run during the seventh inning of Monday's game against the Blue Jays in Toronto. FRANK GUNN/The Canadian Press/Associated Press