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September 09, 2013

Wrapping up Rangers' 1-0 loss to Pirates

Yu Darvish pitched well once again and, once again, didn’t get much run support. In fact, the Texas Rangers’ offense gave him no support on Monday for the third time this season.

Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole and a pair of relievers shutout the Rangers for the ninth time this season, and the lone run Darvish gave up was enough for Pittsburgh’s 1-0 victory.

It’s the third time this season Darvish has been on the losing end of a 1-0 game (also May 21 vs. Oakland and July 27 at Cleveland). Darvish has also received two-or-fewer runs of support in 14 of his last 19 games.

More worrisome at the moment, however, was the cramping in Darvish’s right leg that forced him out after seven innings and a season-low 81 pitches. Darvish downplayed the injury afterwards, saying he expected to make his next scheduled start Saturday against Oakland.

“Not serious at all,” Darvish said.

Here are a few other postgame notes:

* The Rangers’ offense has been inconsistent most of the season, but this night belonged to Gerrit Cole. The former first overall pick shut down the offense, mixing his pitches well and striking out a career-high nine batters.

Elvis Andrus called it the best pitching performance against the Rangers this season, saying: “He was really good. If he pitches that way every single start, he’ll be the National League Cy Young [one day] for sure. Very impressive stuff.”

* The Rangers managed only three hits against Cole, including a two-out single by A.J. Pierzynski in the fourth inning. Pierzynski, though, tried to stretch it into a double and was thrown out.

“I was just trying to get to second with two outs,” Pierzynski said. “We were having a hard time stringing hits together. If I’m on first with two outs, it doesn’t do us a lot of good. At least if I’m on second and Mitch [Moreland] gets a hit, I have a chance to score on that. I was just trying to press the issue and the guy made a perfect throw.”

* Adrian Beltre grounded out to end the sixth inning after Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios had drawn two-out walks. He is now 1 for his last 21 with runners in scoring position, and is also in a 1-for-23 slump.

* The Rangers have lost six of their last eight, and are now two games back of the A’s in the American League West.

* For the Pirates, it marked a memorable day in club history. They won their 82nd game and have their first winning season since 1992.

-- Drew Davison

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