Twins beat Darvish, Texas
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Minnesota Twins spoiled what had been a masterful performance by Yu Darvish with two home runs and beat the Texas Rangers 3-2 on Friday night at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas (78-56) saw its three-game winning streak end in the opener of a brief three-game homestand. The Twins (58-75) snapped a five-game skid, which included a stretch of scoring just one run in four straight games.
Despite taking a no-hitter and a 2-0 lead into the seventh, Darvish couldn’t hold on. Chris Herrmann and Justin Morneau hit consecutive home runs off Darvish — the third time Minnesota has gone back to back this season — to take a 3-2 advantage.
Herrmann’s two-run shot to right (Brian Dozer walked to lead off the inning) was the first hit of the evening for the Twins. Morneau followed with a solo blast and Darvish was done after Trevor Plouffe doubled two batters later.
Darvish had struck out 11 but left his third straight game after failing to protect a 2-0 lead. Minnesota started Liam Hendriks (1-2) gave up two runs (one earned) through six innings and combined with four relieves to pick up the victory.
The Rangers had a chance to tie the game in the seventh, put left a runner stranded at third. Craig Gentry, pinch hitting for David Murphy, tripled into the right-field corner with one out.
Leonys Martin, facing left-hander Brian Duensing, grounded out to second against a drawn-in infield. Elvis Andrus did the same to short against righty Josh Roenicke to end the threat.
Darvish cruised through the first five innings, striking out seven and carrying a no-hitter into the sixth. Darvish also reached 60 strikeouts in August, becoming the first pitcher since 2004 (Randy Johnson and Johan Santana) with a 60-strikeout month.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the third on Jurickson Profar’s fifth homer of the season. The 399-foot shot off Hendriks ricocheted off the upper deck ribbon board in right.
Texas added a run in the fourth thanks to some speed and an error. Ian Kinsler went from first to third on a steal and wild throw into center by Herrmann. A.J. Pierzynski’s slow roller to first easily scored Kinsler for a 2-0 lead.
Notes: Texas suspended OF Nelson Cruz took batting practice before the game and is headed to the Arizona instructional league with the expectation of returning should the Rangers reach the postseason. Nelson’s 50-game suspension ends at the end of the regular season. Nelson also apologized to the organization, fans and Major League Baseball. “It’s been a really tough few weeks,” he said. “I have good friends and good family. They’ve been behind me.” ... Twins LF Josh Willingham is staying put for the rest of the season. Willingham was reportedly claimed off waivers by Baltimore, but the waiver trade deadline passed Friday without a transaction. The 34-year-old cleanup hitter can’t be traded until after the season.