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September 14, 2013

Athletics 1, Rangers 0 (F)

ARLINGTON – Yu Darvish allowed one run over seven innings for a second consecutive start. It’s hard to imagine a starter not winning one of those two games.

But Darvish hasn’t gotten any help from his offense and suffered a similar fate Saturday. Even though he pitched well, Darvish ultimately took the loss in a 1-0 game he was out-pitched in by Oakland A’s starter Bartolo Colon.

Darvish has been on the losing side of four 1-0 games this season, the most since Orel Hershiser lost four in that fashion in 1989. More troubling, though, is the Rangers are quickly fading in the playoff race.

Texas has lost 10 of its last 12 games, and are now 5 1/2 games back of the A’s in the American League West. The Rangers could also fall into a tie for the top wild card spot if Tampa Bay beats Minnesota tonight.

Darvish allowed his lone run in the first inning. Josh Donaldson drew a one-out walk, and scored on a double to right by Brandon Moss.

Darvish needed 26 pitches to get through the first inning, and was at 46 after two. But he managed to get through seven for a second consecutive start and posted his 12th start with at least 10 strikeouts.

Regardless, Darvish remains winless since Aug. 12, and has received two runs-or-less of support in seven consecutive starts.

The Rangers’ offense struggled all day against Colon. They had base-runners reach the first six innings, but couldn’t capitalize on those opportunities.

The best scoring chance might have come in the fourth when A.J. Pierzynski had a two-out single and Geovany Soto followed with a double to left. Pierzynski couldn’t score on the double, and the threat ended when Mitch Moreland struck out.

They had another chance in the eighth when Elvis Andrus had a one-out single and stole second. Andrus moved to third on a fly out by Alex Rios, but was left there when Adrian Beltre flew out to right.

Grant Balfour then worked a scoreless ninth for his 38th save. Balfour retired Pierzynski on a pop up and pinch-hitter Lance Berkman on a fly out for the first two outs. He walked Moreland, but struck out pinch-hitter David Murphy to end the game.

The Rangers finished the day by going 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position and leaving eight men on base.

-- Drew Davison


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