DETROIT--Yu Darvish pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning to lead the Texas Rangers to a 10-3 rout of the Detroit Tigers on April 19.
Darvish (2-0) showed impressive poise in the opener of a four-game set at Comerica Park, allowing one run over 6 1-3 innings in his toughest test since coming over from Japan.
The Rangers beat the Tigers in six games in last year's American League championship series, winning the clincher 15-5. This one wasn't much closer, as Mike Napoli homered for the fourth straight game and Texas scored five runs in the eighth and finishing with 19 hits.
Detroit (9-4) has the American League's second-best record behind the Rangers (11-2).
Neither starting pitcher played any role in last year's ALCS. The Rangers acquired Darvish in the offseason, committing more than $107 million to bring in Japan's top pitcher.
Darvish allowed four runs in the first inning of his Rangers debut against Seattle on April 9. He's given up only four since then, and one of them was unearned.
This was the longest of his three starts, and the 25-year-old right-hander kept Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and the powerful Detroit lineup off balance. Darvish came out after 5 2-3 innings in his other two starts.
Darvish got Fielder swinging on a looping breaking ball in the sixth. Delmon Young then walked but was thrown out trying to go from first to third on a wild pitch when Torrealba, the catcher, lost track of the ball momentarily.
After a walk and an error gave the Tigers two on and nobody out in the seventh, Darvish struck out Jhonny Peralta with his 121st and final pitch, a nasty one that dropped sharply toward the dirt at the last instant.
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