ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish could only smile after Brett Gardner homered off of him for the third time in a week.
Darvish got really emotional after his last pitch, with Gardner and Derek Jeter both on base again for the New York Yankees.
After striking out his final batter to get out of that jam in the seventh, Darvish shouted out and pumped his fist several times coming off the mound, and the Rangers held on for a 4-2 victory Monday night.
“I’m just glad they didn’t tie the game,” Darvish said through his translator about his rare emphatic response. “It was late in the game, and it was a close game, and it got close to a win, so I think I just showed emotions because of that.”
Darvish (10-6) struck out eight in seven innings, the biggest coming when Brian McCann swung and missed to end the seventh.
“That was an example of his competitive juices,” manager Ron Washington said. “Once he got out of that inning, he should show excitement. I’m glad he did, because it was a tense time.”
J.P. Arencibia had a tiebreaking two-run single in the fifth, when the Rangers scored all of their runs with five consecutive batters reaching base with two outs.
Gardner homered twice and Jeter had three hits to pass Carl Yastrzemski for seventh place on the hits list.
The rest of the Yankees managed only three hits off Darvish, who threw 80 of his 108 pitches for strikes five days after losing a rain-shortened game in New York.
David Phelps (5-5) lost for the first time in nine starts, allowing four runs and eight hits in six innings. The right-hander, like Darvish, was credited with a complete game last Wednesday in the 2-1 Yankees victory that didn’t resume after rain in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Yankees led 2-0 after Gardner homered in the fifth, an at-bat started with him taking three consecutive curveballs, the first two of them strikes. Darvish smiled Gardner after homered on a 2-2 pitch, an 137-kph slider left over the plate that just cleared the center field wall.
Gardner, also homered in the third, and has 12 homers after the first multihomer game of his career. He also went deep off Darvish last week, though he has little explanation for his success against the Japanese ace.
“I’m not sure. I try to get good at-bats. Small sample size,” Gardner said. “It’s hard to have confidence in the batter’s box when he’s on the mound.”
Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-3 in the loss for New York.
Blue Jays 14, Red Sox 1
In Boston, Melky Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate and drove in five runs and R.A. Dickey pitched three-hit ball for seven innings as Toronto romped past the Red Sox.
The Blue Jays won for the sixth time in seven games while Boston lost one day after stopping a five-game slide that began in Toronto with three losses.
Cabrera homered into the Red Sox bullpen in right field after Jose Reyes led off the game with a walk. Cabrera made it 9-0 in a nine-run sixth with a three-run homer to left, his 14th of the season.
Clay Buchholz (5-7) left the game after allowing the first three batters to reach in the sixth.
Munenori Kawasaki was 2-for-3 with a walk, drove in two runs, and scored three in the rout.
Astros 7, Athletics 3
In Houston, Chris Carter, Jason Castro, Marc Krauss and Matt Dominguez each hit a home run to help the Astros stop a five-game losing streak.
Carter hit a monstrous three-run shot to center field in the third to give the Astros a lead, and Castro and Krauss went back-to-back in the sixth, with Castro’s homer a two-run shot.
Rays 2, Brewers 1
In St. Petersburg, Florida, Jake Odorizzi won his third consecutive start and James Loney had two RBIs to lead Tampa Bay past Milwaukee.
Odorizzi (7-8) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings to beat the team that took him 32nd overall in the 2008 draft.
The Rays took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Loney drove in two with a two-out, bases-loaded single off Brewers starter Kyle Lohse (11-5), who gave up two runs and four hits over six innings.
Tampa Bay had won nine in a row before a 3-2 loss Sunday to Boston. The winning streak was the second longest in team history.