Baseball / MLB

Yu Darvish struggles again as Braves sweep Cubs

Kyodo, AP

Yu Darvish pitched four-plus innings and suffered his first loss of the season on Thursday in the Chicago Cubs’ 9-4 defeat to the Atlanta Braves.

Darvish, playing in his second game of the season, allowed three runs, all earned, on five hits and four walks, while striking out two at SunTrust Park.

“There’s always pressure, so I really wanted to win today. My sliders and my cutters were good, but I didn’t have a good sense of my fastballs,” he said. “There were some things that I think I should do next time, so I want to think about it more as I try out new things daily.”

Darvish (0-1) opened with three scoreless innings but surrendered the first run of the game on three straight singles.

He was replaced after giving up a double and a walk to the first two hitters in the fifth, and the red-hot Atlanta lineup went on to bag five runs in the inning.

In his first start of the season, Darvish was pulled after yielding three runs over 2⅔ innings. He has been working through injuries to his pitching arm since landing on the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis last May.

The Cubs staged a late four-run rally in the ninth, sparked by back-to-back home runs by Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez, but it was not enough to turn the game.

Max Fried, making only his 10th career start and his first this season after two scoreless relief appearances, recorded 17 straight outs to open the game.

Mark Zagunis singled up the middle with two outs in the sixth to become Chicago’s first baserunner.

Fried allowed one hit with no walks and five strikeouts in six innings.

Indians 4, Blue Jays 1

In Cleveland, Trevor Bauer was pulled by manager Terry Francona after seven hitless innings and 117 pitches, and watched from the dugout as Toronto’s Freddy Galvis broke up the Indians’ bid for a combined no-hitter with a leadoff single in the ninth inning.

Bauer was attempting to throw Cleveland’s first no-hitter in 38 years but was taken out as his pitch count increased.

“It was the right decision,” Bauer said.

Jon Edwards got two outs in the eighth before closer Brad Hand worked out of a bases-loaded jam. Hand, however, gave up a hard single to center by Galvis.

The Indians haven’t pitched a no-hitter since Len Barker’s perfect game against Toronto in 1981.

Rangers 11, Angels 4

In Anaheim, Joey Gallo hit a three-run homer and Ronald Guzman added a two-run shot in the first inning, and Texas extended its strong start.

Athletics 7, Red Sox 3

In Oakland, center fielder Ramon Laureano threw out another Red Sox runner in a key spot, and the Athletics kept Boston stumbling.

Nationals 4, Mets 0

In New York, Stephen Strasburg outpitched Noah Syndergaard, rookie Victor Robles homered for Washington’s only hit until the ninth inning and the Nationals blanked the drowsy Mets to spoil New York’s home opener.

Yankees 8, Orioles 4

In Baltimore, Gleyber Torres homered twice, had a career-high four hits and drove in four runs, and New York ruined the Orioles’ home opener.

Pirates 2, Reds 0

In Pittsburgh, Jordan Lyles pitched five effective innings in his Pirates debut and the Bucs extended Cincinnati’s scoreless streak.

Tigers 5, Royals 4

In Detroit, Spencer Turnbull struck out 10 in six innings, and the Tigers drew four straight walks to start the bottom of the seventh, taking the lead for good against Kansas City.

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