ST. LOUIS – Yu Darvish was tagged with his fifth loss of the season as the St. Louis Cardinals snatched the division lead away from the Chicago Cubs with a 2-1 victory in their series opener on Tuesday.
Darvish (3-5) was pleased with his six-inning effort in which he gave up two runs and six hits with nine strikeouts, two wild pitches, no walks and a hit batter but the 32-year-old Japanese right-hander said delivering results is what matters most.
“I personally don’t think that pitch against (Paul) Goldschmidt (who hit a go-ahead homer) was a bad one,” Darvish said.
“But right now, I can’t just perform well, a win is what will bring the team’s spirits up. I’ll make adjustments over the next four days,” he said.
Darvish squandered a one-run lead when he allowed Jose Martinez to score on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. In the sixth, Goldschmidt hit his seventh homer in eight games, and his 25th of the season, to break a 1-1 tie.
“I haven’t had too much success against Darvish,” Goldschmdit said. “I was just trying to get on base. Fortunately, I got enough of it to get it out of here.”
Goldschmidt is hitting .364 (12-for-33) in his last eight games with 14 RBIs. He has 11 home runs in July, which ties his career high for a month.
“This is something I’ve never done, hit home runs like this,” Goldschmidt said. “This game is crazy. Just enjoy the good times and forget about the bad.”
Chicago manager Joe Maddon knew how hot Goldschmidt has been lately.
“We didn’t want him to beat us and he did,” Maddon said.
The Cardinals, who entered the teams’ three-game series tied with the Cubs atop the division, moved into sole possession of first place in the National League Central. The Cardinals improved to 13-5 since the All-Star break.
Javier Baez drove in the lone run for Chicago, which has lost three of four and six of eight.
Angels 6, Tigers 1
In Anaheim, Shohei Ohtani went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the Angels’ victory over Detroit .
Ohtani hit three singles off Tigers starter Drew VerHagen (1-2), driving in the team’s third run in the fifth inning in his third at-bat.
Ohtani had his sixth game this season with three or more hits.
Los Angeles’ Matt Thaiss homered and drove in three runs.
Diamondbacks 4, Yankees 2
In New York, rookie Taylor Clarke was an impressive winner in his Yankee Stadium debut, and Arizona got home runs from Christian Walker and Carson Kelly to beat New York.
Yoshihisa Hirano pitched 1⅓ innings in his sixth straight scoreless relief appearance to help the Diamondbacks to the win.
In Other Games
Athletics 3, Brewers 2 (10)
Twins 2, Marlins 1
Orioles 8, Padres 5
Mets 5, White Sox 2 (11)
Astros 2, Indians 0
Rays 6, Red Sox 5
Mariners 8, Rangers 5
Blue Jays 9, Royals 2
Braves 11, Nationals 8
Dodgers 9, Rockies 4
Phillies 4, Giants 2
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5