Darvish: 10 Ks, 10 wins; Texas beats Detroit 7-5
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Yu Darvish is feeling right at home in Texas, where he's already done something only one other major league pitcher has accomplished in the past half-century.
The Japanese standout has won his first seven career home starts after the Rangers' 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night. Overall, he matched the American League lead with his 10th victory less than halfway through his first season in the majors.
Darvish (10-4) struck out 10 in seven innings for his fourth double-digit strikeout game. After giving up two runs the first four batters, he settled down and got into a nice groove — something he has already done a few times with the Rangers after sluggish starts.
"It seemed like the longer the game went, the better he got," manager Ron Washington said. "He was trying to get rhythm again those first few innings. They put some runs on the board, but we came back and answered, and he continued to pound the strike zone. All of a sudden his fastball was crisper, his breaking ball was crisper."
The Rangers said, according to Elias, the only other pitcher in the past 50 years to win his first seven career home starts was Carlos Perez for the Montreal Expos — eight in 1995. Kenny Rogers is the only other pitcher to win seven consecutive starts at Rangers Ballpark at any point.
The only walk Darvish allowed was Austin Jackson's to start the game, though the big right-hander hit Miguel Cabrera in the left earflap of his helmet with a 92-mph fastball before Prince Fielder's double quickly put the Tigers up 2-0.
Darvish threw 113 pitches on a night when the game-time temperature was 103 degrees, and finished strong. He retired the last seven batters he faced, striking out the last two.
"That's one of the top high-level lineups in the league and I was looking forward to facing these hitters," said Darvish, who didn't feel overwhelmed by the heat either. "My teammates still tell me it's not as hot as it's going to get. ... Even though it was hot, I didn't feel too uncomfortable."
The AL West-leading Rangers went ahead to stay with a four-run fourth. They were up 5-3 after consecutive RBI singles by Yorvit Torrealba and Brandon Snyder — the Nos. 8 and 9 batters in the lineup.
Josh Hamilton later homered for the second night in a row, his leadoff shot in the seventh was his 24th of the season to match Toronto's Jose Bautista for the major league lead. Hamilton has a majors-best 67 RBIs.
Prince Fielder drove in four runs for the Tigers, including a two-run double in the first. Three innings later, when the temperature was still in triple digits, Fielder hit his 12th homer to make it 3-1.
"We did a decent job against Darvish. If you can get five runs off him you're doing pretty well," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He has good secondary pitches. He looks like a breaking-ball pitcher."
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