ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – Prince Fielder fought his way out of a slump just the way manager Ron Washington predicted he would — by driving the ball where no shift could get in the way.
Fielder had a pair of RBI doubles to end a drought of 39 at-bats without an extra-base hit, Yu Darvish had a solid showing, and the Texas Rangers trounced the Los Angeles Angels 14-3 on Sunday.
“I was just trying to go up there with an approach and not really worry about the result. And good results happened today,” the five-time All-Star first baseman said. “I haven’t been pressing, but anytime you’re not doing what you know you can do, it’s definitely frustrating.”
Darvish (2-1) worked into the seventh to earn his first victory in almost a month. The right-hander shrugged off first-inning homers by Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols to win for the first time since his season debut on April 6 at Tampa Bay.
“Yu struggled the first couple of innings, but then he found something that worked and settled down,” Washington said.
Darvish allowed three runs, seven hits and no walks in 6⅓ innings, with nine strikeouts. His teammates scored three more runs than they totaled in his five previous starts combined. J.P. Arencibia hit his first home run and Michael Choice added a three-run shot.
Pujols shrugged off an 0-2 pitch by Darvish that glanced off the front of his helmet in the fifth inning as he closed his eyes and turned his head to the right. He remained in the game after a trainer checked him at first base.
“I was just lucky I got out of the way at the right time. I’m just glad nothing crazy happened,” Pujols said. “If he was going to hit me intentionally with the score 9-2, then he’s an idiot. But I don’t think that happened. The ball just slipped out of his hand, and that’s it. Believe me, if I would have known that was on purpose, I would have charged the mound. But I don’t think anything like that happened.”
White Sox 4, Indians 3
In Cleveland, Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning off John Axford.
Rays 5, Yankees 1
In New York, Wil Myers had a three-run, inside-the-park homer on a drive off the top of the center-field fence and drove in four runs for Tampa.
Athletics 3, Red Sox 2 (10)
In Boston, Yoenis Cespedes drove in the go-ahead run on an infield single with the bases loaded in the 10th.
Tigers 9, Royals 4
In Kansas City, Justin Verlander took a no-hit bid into the sixth and won his fourth straight decision
The Royals’ Norichika Aoki was 1-for-1, walked three times and finished with a pair of RBIs.
Twins 5, Orioles 2
In Minneapolis, Phil Hughes gave up two runs and six hits in 6⅓ innings to win his third straight start.
Mariners 8, Astros 7
In Houston, Robinson Cano and Willie Bloomquist each drove in two runs.
Giants 4, Braves 1
In Atlanta, Brandon Crawford homered twice as San Francisco completed a three-game sweep.
Marlins 5, Dodgers 4
In Miami, Jeff Baker hit a winning double off the wall with two outs in the ninth to lift the Marlins to a win.
Mets 5, Rockies 1
In Denver, Dillon Gee allowed six hits in six innings, extending his scoreless streak to a career-best 16 innings.
Phillies 1, Nationals 0
In Philadelphia, Roberto Hernandez allowed four hits in 7⅓ innings.
Reds 4 Brewers 3 (10)
In Cincinnati, Chris Heisey scored from first on Todd Frazier’s 10th-inning double into the left-field corner.
Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3
In San Diego, Cameron Maybin reached base after an overturned umpire’s call, then scored on Yonder Alonso’s slow grounder in the ninth.
Cardinals 5, Cubs 4
In Chicago, Yadier Molina drove in two runs with a two-out single in the ninth inning.
Blue Jays 7, Pirates 2
In Pittsburgh, Colby Rasmus hit a grand slam and Melky Cabrera added a two-run homer.