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Nov 9, 2012 7:50pm
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ARLINGTON, Texas—That extra time the Texas Rangers gave Yu Darvish after his
last start made a huge difference. Jared Odrick Jersey . Darvish was in command
again, matching his major-league high with 11 strikeouts over eight innings as
the AL West-leading Rangers beat the Houston Astros 6-2 on Friday night. “This
time off, which was very positive for me, I was able to kind of reset my body
and be able to pitch the way I want,” Darvish said through his translator. “And
going forward, I want to continue to have this type of production.” After
Jordan Schafers infield single to start the sixth, Darvish (8-4) struck out
eight of the last 11 batters he faced—including the side in the eighth
against the heart of the Astros order. “The early part of the game, I was very
careful throwing strikes and just feeling the rhythm of the game,” Darvish said.
“The second half, I gave it all and just went after them.” The Japanese
right-hander was given an extended break between starts after walking six and
allowing six runs in 5 1-3 innings in a 7-1 loss at Oakland eight days earlier.
He was 1-3 with a 6.53 ERA his previous four starts with 18 walks in 20 2-3
innings—all against teams he was facing for the second time in the majors.
Darvish walked only two against Houston. He scattered seven hits and gave up two
runs while throwing 76 of his 110 pitches for strikes. “He was aware of what was
going on, how erratic he was,” manager Ron Washington said. “Hes a very smart
kid, hes been successful all his life. ... The time that he had off, thats what
he worked on, commanding his fastball.” Darvish is 6-0 with a 3.15 ERA in six
starts at Rangers Ballpark. Take out the first two innings of his debut—when
he allowed five runs in what wound up being an 11-5 victory over Seattle—and
that home ERA dips to 2.13. He is the only pitcher in the majors with at least
three starts at home to win every one of those games. Joe Nathan worked the
ninth in a non-save situation, allowing a hit with two strikeouts. David Murphy
lined a two-run single in a five-run fifth off Jordan Lyles (1-3), when the
Rangers had two popups fall for hits after an error and a hit batter started the
rally. The Rangers have won 12 of the last 16 games in the interleague series
against Houston, which soon will be a division rival. The Astros are moving next
season from the NL Central to the AL West, when they then face the prospect of
seeing Darvish multiple times a season. “He throws a lot of pitches, throws his
breaking ball for a strike early in the count, spotted his pitches, spotted his
fastball,” Astros third baseman Chris Johnson said. Mitch Moreland hit his 10th
homer for Texas, a towering solo shot pulled into the second deck of seats in
right field in the eighth. Murphys liner to centre was the hardest-hit ball by
the Rangers in their big inning. Ian Kinsler reached on a one-out throwing error
by Johnson before Elvis Andrus was hit by a pitch. The Rangers then had five
consecutive singles, the first a soft liner by Michael Young that tied the game
at 1. Adrian Beltre then hit a grounder out of reach of the shortstop to drive
in the tiebreaking run. “You can call that inning my fault,” Johnson said,
referring to his error before all the bloops. “Thats baseball, if guys put the
bat on ball, theyre going to fall in sometimes.” Nelson Cruz hit a popup that
dropped behind second base in front of a charging Schafer in centre field.
Murphy lined a single up the middle before Yorvit Torrealba hit a blooper that
dropped near the line in shallow right. “Although a couple of them were dunkers,
in the box score, they look like line drives,” Washington said. “Dunkers count
too.” Houston was ahead 1-0 in the third after Jose Altuve drew a leadoff walk,
stole second base and scored on a single by Jed Lowrie. Justin Maxwell hit a
two-out solo homer, his seventh of the season, on the first pitch he got in the
seventh. Lyles gave up five runs, three earned, and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings.
The right-hander struck out one and walked two. “It was really too bad, because
he said he doesnt feel like the games getting away from him,” Astros manager
Brad Mills said. “But he was cruising along so well and throwing the ball so
well, and even some of those hits really werent stung, but they were still
finding the holes.” Notes: Darvish, who also struck out 11 May 6 at Cleveland,
is the only Ranger to win his first six home starts. Only two pitchers in
franchise history have won more consecutive home starts at any point in their
career—Fergie Jenkins (eight in 1975) and Rick Honeycutt seven in 1983). ...
Texas slugger Josh Hamilton was out after being hospitalized for dehydration
caused by an intestinal virus. ... The Rangers plan to purchase the contract of
RHP Justin Grimm from Double-A Frisco before Saturdays game to start his major
league debut. Rookie righty Lucas Harrell (6-4) goes for the Astros. Reggie Bush Youth Jersey . Adams, who gave up
three home runs in a span of five batters in his last outing, said Sunday that
he has been diagnosed with a case of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. That is when a
bone in the upper body presses against a nerve, causing numbness and tingling in
the fingers. Mike Pouncey Jersey . The purchase price is
believed to be around US$800 million. OMalley is the son of Walter OMalley, who
bought the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950 and moved them to Los Angeles before the
1958 season. http://www.officialmiamidolphinsgear.com/ryan-tannehill-jerseys
. But most important to the Stampeders is heading into the CFL playoffs on a
winning note. Calgary (10-7) entered into the final week of the regular season
tied atop the West Division standings with Edmonton and B. Reshad Jones Jersey . Walden blew the save in
Thursdays loss 4-3 to Tampa Bay when he allowed a two-run, game-ending home run
to Brandon Allen. Walden has converted one of two save chances this season. Anthony Fasano Jersey .C. —Andrew Harris is
preparing to soar among the clouds at breakneck speed, but still striving to
keep his ego on the ground.PITTSBURGH—Chad Billingsley cant put a finger on
why hes been pitching so much better since a stint on the disabled list that
spanned the All-Star break. Dodgers teammate Hanley Ramirez has a theory,
though. “I was thinking about that today,” said Ramirez, who acquired in a trade
two days after Billingsley began his streak of five consecutive wins on July 23.
“I think maybe I am good luck.” Billingsley pitched eight dominant innings and
Los Angeles won for the fifth time in six games, routing the Pittsburgh Pirates
11-0 Tuesday night. Billingsley (9-9) allowed five hits and one walk in
improving to 7-1 in his career against the Pirates. Billingsley waited out a
55-minute delay at the beginning, then struck out five and improved to 5-0 with
a 1.56 ERA in five starts since a July stint on the disabled list due to elbow
inflammation. He had lost all five of his previous outings before going on the
DL. “You know, honestly, nothing much,” Billingsley said when asked whats been
different since coming off the DL. “Ive been throwing just fastballs and
commanding the fastball pretty well lately, and just mixing in offspeed. As far
as my thought process, it hasnt changed.” Luis Cruz tied career highs for hits
and RBIs with three each. Ramirez added three hits, two RBIs and two runs as Los
Angeles beat the Pirates for the eighth straight time dating to last season.
Matt Kemp added two hits and two runs, James Loney went 2 for 5 with a run and
an RBI and Andre Ethier had two runs and two RBIs for Los Angeles, which matched
its highest-scoring game of the season. “Youve got everybody chipping in,”
Ramirez said. “Not only one guy, the whole team is going out there and
contributing.” Shawn Tolleson worked a perfect ninth to preserve the Dodgers
seventh shutout of the season. The Pirates have been blanked 10 times.
Pittsburgh has lost five of six and is 3-6 on its season-long 11-game homestand.
Thats bringing back memories of last season in Pittsburgh, where there were high
hopes the Pirates would have their first winning season since 1992 when they
were 53-47 on July 26. Instead, a 19-43 collapse the rest of the way resulted in
the franchises seventh consecutive 90-loss season. “We are doing a lot better
than we did last year,” outfielder Andrew McCutchen said. “We are still in a
good position and where we need to be. Its not like we are 30 games out of it.
Were still fighting, and we need to keep playing like we are the team that
everybody is scared to play against.” Wild card leaders just a week ago,
Pittsburghs grip on the second wild card spot has slipped to a half-game lead
over the surging Dodgers. “This is our worst patch of play probably during the
season,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Every team that I have been on has
a patch of play like this. We know what we are dealing with and we have to find
a way to turn it arround. Kevin Burnett Jersey. ” Pittsburghs
Kevin Correia (9-7) had won seven straight decisions, tied for the longest
active streak in the majors. Auditioning for a spot in the starting rotation
during the stretch drive, Correia gave up five earned runs and seven hits in six
innings. Only four hits off Correia left the infield. “I felt good out there and
I think that I made a lot of good pitches,” Correia said. “Obviously things
didnt really go my way for a few innings, but I had chances after that to make a
good pitch and get out of the inning and I missed a couple.” Shane Victorino had
an RBI grounder in the third, and the Dodgers loaded the bases without hitting a
ball to the outfield to begin a three-run fourth. Infield singles by Kemp and
Ramirez sandwiched Ethier reaching on an error by Pirates second baseman
Neil Walker put Los Angeles in position. Kemp scored on Loneys groundout, and
Ethier and Ramirez were driven in by a line-drive single by Cruz—the only
ball of the inning to leave the infield. The NL West-leading Dodgers added two
runs in the sixth when Ramirez, Loney and Cruz hit consecutive singles and
A.J. Ellis followed with a sacrifice fly. Before the game, Hurdle said that he
would go with a five-man rotation after the teams next day off Aug. 23. Correia
was removed from the rotation after the team acquired Wandy Rodriguez on July 24
despite the fact Correia won his fifth consecutive start the following day.
Correia made only one relief appearance, however, before he was returned to
starting Aug. 8. He will get one more start before Hurdle said the Pirates would
send one of their six starters to the bullpen. Correia had won each of his past
six starts. The Dodgers turned it into a rout in the ninth, adding five runs off
Chad Qualls. Either had a two-run single and Ramirez a two-run double. Los
Angeles didnt need all those runs on a night Billingsley was so strong.
“Tonight… he seemed the smoothest,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He
didnt fight himself at all, he didnt overthrow, he had nice touch and feel, used
his slow breaking ball, used his cutter, threw some sliders, threw some change
ups. He just seemed to kind of be in control all night.” NOTES: The only
previous occasion Cruz had three hits in a game was also at PNC Park: Sept. 12,
2008, while playing for Pittsburgh. He also had three RBIs in a game once
previously. ... Pittsburgh entered its season-long 11-game homestand with the
best home record in baseball but is 3-6 on it so far. ... The Dodgers are 11-1
in the Eastern time zone this season. ... Los Angeles is 44-3 when scoring at
least five runs. ... Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw allowed one run over seven
innings in a start against the Pirates earlier this season. Rodriguez pitched
seven shutout innings in his only appearance against Los Angeles this season.
Kershaw and Rodriguez will start in the third game of the series Wednesday. ’ ’

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