ARLINGTON – Yu Darvish allowed one run over seven strong innings, but exited after experiencing cramping in his right leg. Fortunately for the Texas Rangers, the injury is not considered serious.
That was the only good news, however, on Monday night. The Rangers’ offense was shutout by Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole and a pair of relievers in a 1-0 loss at Rangers Ballpark.
The Rangers have lost four of their last five, and six of their last eight to drop two games back of the A’s in the American League West.
Cole kept the Rangers off-balance all night. He scattered three hits with a career-high nine strikeouts over seven innings.
The Rangers’ only inning with multiple base-runners came in the sixth when Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios drew consecutive two-out walks. But Adrian Beltre grounded out to end that threat.
The Pirates closed out the game with a pair of scoreless innings by Tony Watson and Mark Melancon in the eighth and ninth. The Rangers had the game-winning run at the plate with two outs in the ninth after Beltre singled, but A.J. Pierzynski had a soft groundout to end the game.
The Rangers were shutout for the first time since July 28 at Cleveland. It marked only the 14th 1-0 game at The Ballpark, two of which have come this year. The Rangers lost both, falling 1-0 to the A's on May 21.
Darvish had matched Cole all night, throwing six scoreless innings to start. He didn’t allow a base-runner past first until Marlon Byrd’s two-out double in the seventh.
Darvish then gave up another double to Pedro Alvarez which produced the game’s only run. He exited after that with cramping in his leg, throwing a season-low 81 pitches over seven innings.
Darvish had similar symptoms when he left a start in early August, and he is expected to make his next scheduled start Saturday against Oakland.
-- Drew Davison