Rangers 1, Rays 0

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 28, 2012
Yu Darvish struck out 10 over seven innings for the Texas Rangers to win a 1-0 pitchers' duel against James Shields and the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. Ian Kinsler homered to give Texas enough against the suddenly sliding Rays, who have lost four in a row, had runners on base in each of the first five innings against Darvish (13-9) and still couldn't score. It was their fourth 1-0 loss this season - all in their last 22 games this month. Shields (12-8) allowed only three hits over his seven innings, including Kinsler's homer leading off the fourth. The Rays right-hander struck out eight, walked two and hit a batter. Darvish, who allowed six hits, has a majors-best eight 10-strikeout games. The only Rangers pitcher with more in a season was Nolan Ryan, the hard-throwing Hall of Famer who is now the team's president and watched from the first row. Ryan had 18 such games in 1989. Texas skipped Darvish's scheduled start last Thursday because of tightness in his right quadriceps. But the standout from Japan threw a pair of bullpens since then and showed no ill effects facing the Rays for the first time and throwing 110 pitches. Joe Nathan struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to convert his 25th consecutive save opportunity, matching the Rangers team record while wrapping up the team's 10th shutout this season. Nathan has retired the last 14 batters he has faced. Mike Adams took over for Darvish to start the eighth. With a runner at second, first baseman Mitch Moreland went to his knees while snagging Ben Zobrist's hopper near the line, spun around to his feet and then sprinted to first for the inning-ending out. Shields, who was 4-0 his previous five starts, faced the minimum nine batters through the first three innings. He walked David Murphy leading off the third, but promptly picked him off base. Kinsler pulled a full-count pitch into the left-field seats to start the fourth, his 16th homer of the season. No other runner got past second base against Shields. Sam Fuld, who wasn't even in the Rays' starting lineup, had three of their four hits. He took over in right field in the second inning for Matt Joyce, who left the game with a left forearm strain. Twice in the first five innings, the Rays had their first two hitters on base before struggling slugger Carlos Pena struck out. After Ryan Roberts' one-out infield single in the fourth loaded the bases, Jose Lobaton grounded to Moreland, who started a double play that was completed with Darvish taking the relay throw at first from shortstop Elvis Andrus. Tampa Bay has been held scoreless eight times this season. That includes five shutout losses in August, when the Rays are 16-9 overall. Notes: It was the 12th 1-0 game at Rangers Ballpark, which opened in 1994. There have been three this season, all Texas victories. ... John Wetteland converted 25 consecutive save chances for the Rangers form July 1997-May 1998. ... Nathan's career best is 27 in a row for Minnesota in 2004, setting a Twins record. ... Rangers LH Matt Harrison goes for his 16th victory in the series finale. He pitches against Alex Cobb (8-8), who is coming off a four-hit shutout victory against Oakland last Thursday. ... Darvish had been tied for the most 10-strikeout games for Rangers rookies, matching the seven by Jim Bibby in 1973.
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