Darvish, Texas deny Miami bid for interleague mark
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Yu Darvish pitched his first complete game in the major leagues and Choo Shin-soo broke a long hitless streak with a three-run double as the Texas Rangers denied Miami’s bid for a record interleague winning streak, beating the Marlins 6-0 Wednesday.
Darvish (7-2) struck out the side in the eighth to end a streak of one baserunner in each of the first seven innings for the Marlins. The Japanese ace finished his 73rd career start with his 10th strikeout, getting Garrett Jones swinging to complete a six-hitter.
The closest Darvish had come to a complete game were the two times he lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. The first was a perfect game bid against Houston last year. The other was against Boston a month ago, although a scoring change a few days later altered that.
“I wasn’t really conscious of throwing a complete game,” Darvish said through an translator. “I thought I was going to be out of the game after the eighth inning, but when (manager Ron Washington) told me that I’m going in the ninth inning as well, I decided to go. And I also wanted to face (Giancarlo) Stanton again.”
Darvish gave up his final single to Stanton leading off the ninth, but Casey McGehee grounded into Miami’s third double play before Jones whiffed.
“I don’t think we really have anybody like that,” Miami manager Mike Redmond said when asked what NL pitchers compared to Darvish, who was facing the Marlins for the first time.
The Marlins had to settle for equaling the New York Yankees (2003-04) and Tampa Bay (2004) for the longest interleague winning streak at 13 games. It was Miami’s first interleague loss since last Aug. 12 at Kansas City.
The Rangers (32-34) ended a four-game losing streak and avoided falling four games under .500 for the first time since 2008. Texas split the two-game set and is now winless in eight straight series at home.
Choo was in an 0-for-18 slump when he pulled a line drive past Jones at first with the bases loaded in the third against Jacob Turner (2-4). When right fielder Stanton couldn’t cut off the ball, Elvis Andrus scored easily from first for a 3-0 lead.
Choo had a single in the fifth that again brought home Andrus, who had three hits.
“I needed just one hit, one good hard it,” Choo said. “I tell myself every pitch, start over, start over, start over.”
Darvish, who won his fourth straight start for the first time in Texas, blew a 4-0 lead in his last start against Cleveland but still got the win in a 6-4 Texas victory. There were no such threats this time, and Darvish has allowed one earned run in 37 2-3 innings over his past five interleague starts.
Marcell Ozuna helped Darvish by getting thrown out at second base by left fielder Michael Choice after a leadoff single in the seventh. Justin Bour followed with a walk, but Darvish started a double play on J.T. Realmuto to end the inning.
Jones had one of the singles on a curveball before Darvish struck out Ozuna looking on a knee-buckling slider. Darvish, who threw 116 pitches, got Stanton swinging on another slider in the sixth.
Turner finished the fourth inning after getting hit on the right side by a line drive from Rougned Odor, but the right-hander didn’t come out for the fifth. He gave up six hits and five earned runs.