ARLINGTON -- Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish pitched more than well enough to earn a win Thursday, allowing just three hits and one earned run in 7 innings of work. But unfortunately for Darvish, the Rangers’ anemic offense made Toronto starter Esmil Rogers look like an ace, too, totaling just five hits and one run off the right-hander.
Nelson Cruz scored the Rangers’ first and only run early, with a solo shot to right field in the second. The home run was Cruz’s 16th of the year.
One inning later, Toronto responded when leadoff hitter Melky Cabrera drove in shortstop Emilio Bonifacio with a single to right. That came after Bonaficio stole second, which prompted Rangers’ manager Ron Washington to protest the call. Darvish managed to settle into a rhythm, though, following Cabrera’s third inning RBI, retiring 13 of the next 14 batters he faced.
Adrian Beltre did Rangers’ relievers Neal Cotts and Tanner Scheppers no favors to start the eighth by committing a throwing error to first, allowing Bonaficio to reach base. Later that inning, Bonaficio along with right fielder Jose Bautista, scored on a two-out double off of Scheppers. The hit broke a 1-1 tie and proved to be the difference in the 3-1 game.
- Christian Clark