ARLINGTON, Texas: Yu Darvish’s return after nearly two years away from had a happy ending on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Darvish earned the win as the Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 at Globe Life Park. It’s Darvish’s first major league win since July 28, 2014. His season was cut short with arm soreness several weeks later.
He had Tommy John surgery in March 2015.
The series finishes with Game 3 on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Darvish held the Pirates to one run on three hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out seven and left after throwing 81 pitches, including 51 strikes. He was on a pitch count of 85 to 90 but a long bottom half of the fifth in which the Pirates relieved their starter, probably contributed to the early hook. Darvish hit a high of 98 mph in the first inning. He allowed three singles, including a leadoff single in the fifth by Francisco Cervelli, who scored on Cole Figueroa’s single to right. After surrendering a single to John Jaso to start the game, Darvish retired the next three batters and 12 of the next 13 before the lead-off single in the fifth.
Tony Barnette pitched the sixth and worked around two singles to keep it at 4-1. Jake Diekman pitched a perfect seventh. Matt Bush allowed two singles in the eighth before retiring the side, including two strikeouts. Sam Dyson allowed a run in the ninth but finished the game.
The Rangers spotted Darvish a three-run lead with three in the first inning. Jurickson Profar led off with an infield single and scored on Ian Desmond’s double. With one out, Adrian Beltre homered on the ninth pitch he saw from starter Juan Nicasio to give Texas a 3-0 lead. Mitch Moreland’s homer in the fourth made it 4-1. Profar tripled to the right-field corner with one out and scored on Ian Desmond’s single through the left side to give the Rangers a 5-1 lead.