ARLINGTON (AP) – Yu Darvish could’ve made things a lot easier on himself if only his foot had found the bag.
The Texas Rangers still won another game, and so did Darvish.
Texas scored six times in the sixth to break it open right after Darvish had missed first base and given up a tying home run, beating the Chicago White Sox 10-6 on Tuesday night.
“If I had touched the bag that would have ended the inning and I wouldn’t have given up the home run,” Darvish said through his translator. “But I think the home run fired up our team, and we scored a lot of runs after that, so I think it turned out to be a good one.”
Darvish (5-1) became the first Texas pitcher in 15 years to win five times in April, overcoming a shaky start with the help of some big hits — and that big inning.
Mitch Moreland, who had three hits, delivered a go-ahead double in the sixth and Adrian Beltre capped the burst with a two-run homer. The bases were loaded when Beltre got to the plate before two wild pitches by Nate Jones allowed two runs.
The Rangers were coming off consecutive losses for the first time this season, and were shut out in Minnesota in their last game Sunday.
“We were what, 11 innings before we scored a run, then we got some big hits, and just kept coming,” manager Ron Washington said.
Nelson Cruz and Jeff Baker homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth off White Sox starter Jose Quintana. Texas scored twice more in the fifth when Ian Kinsler had his fifth double in five games, driving in a run before he scored on a single by Elvis Andrus.
Geovany Soto drew a one-out walk in the sixth off reliever Matt Lindstrom (1-2). Moreland’s double made it 5-4, and he scored on a single by Kinsler.
The last Texas pitchers to win five games in April were Aaron Sele and Rick Helling in 1998. Darvish leads the majors with 58 strikeouts in 38 2-3 innings and nine more in his six innings.
Darvish had thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings before the White Sox, whose .229 batting average coming into the game was tied for the worst in the AL, scored twice and had four hits only six batters into the game. Darvish had allowed three hits in each of his three previous starts.
“I really couldn’t get into my rhythm from the beginning, and it wasn’t really a smooth outing,” Darvish said.
“He had a rough first inning, then he put up four zeroes,” Washington said. “It all started when he didn’t touch first base, but he left a breaking ball up, the first mistake I felt like he made. Fortunate enough, we were able to put some runs on the board to pick him up. He picked us up.”
Chicago got even at 4 with two outs in the sixth when Dewayne Wise hit a two-run homer, the first home run off Darvish this season. That came a batter after Darvish failed to get his foot down on first base to complete what would have been an inning-ending double play.
Moreland fielded Hector Gimenez’s grounder to first and threw to second. Darvish took shortstop Elvis Andrus’ relay throw and caught the ball in time for the out, but he wasn’t on the base and unsuccessfully reached back to try to touch it with his foot.
Darvish immediately patted his chest with his hand, acknowledging his mistake, and even smiled. A few seconds later, he hung a slow breaking pitch over the center of the plate to Wise, who snapped an 0-for-15 slide with four hits. Darvish then struck out Alejandro De Aza to end the inning.
After scoring two quick runs, the White Sox had two runners on with one out in the second without scoring.
“You’re not going to get all of them, but you miss those opportunities and you kick yourself. You have those opportunities and you got to try to cash them in,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You get a couple in the first, you come up again and you get two guys on, and you think, a base hit right here, you’re feeling pretty good about it. But he’s not easy to hit, either, so it makes it tough. ”
NOTES: Quintana allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings. … Moreland is hitting .429 (15 for 35) his last nine games. … 3B Mike Olt, who made his major league debut with the Rangers last year and is one of the team’s top prospects at Triple-A Round Rock, hasn’t played since Thursday after saying he was having vision problems. General manager Jon Daniels said Olt was visiting doctors in the Arlington area Tuesday. Olt is hitting only .139 this season, and his struggles could be related to the unspecified issues with his eyesight.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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