June 1: Rangers (29-28) 2, Nationals (27-28) 0
In a pitcher’s duel between the Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish and the Washington Nationals’ Tanner Roark, the Rangers mustered enough offense to top the Nats in a 2-0 finish. Darvish dazzled with eight scoreless frames.
The Nationals had opportunities to score in the game, but fell through with runners in scoring position – finishing only 1-for-9 in the game in that category.
Washington saw its first opportunity fall through its fingers in the opening frame. Denard Span was 90 feet away from scoring with just one out and was left on third to end the frame. Jayson Werth popped out and Wilson Ramos was called out on strikes against the dominant Darvish.
Span once again got into scoring position in the third but was once again left there when Werth struck out swinging.
Roark kept the Rangers’ bats at bay until a costly pitch to Leonys Martin in the top of the seventh. Martin made Roark pay for a mistake changeup offering on an 0-1 count. He belted the ball over the right-field fence for a 1-0 Texas lead it would never relinquish.
In the eighth, the Rangers doubled that seemingly insurmountable lead to two when Donnie Murphy singled home Daniel Robertson on a line drive to center.
The Nationals were then kept quiet the rest of the way. Darvish completed his stifling eight frames and then handed the ball over to the team’s dominant closer, Joakim Soria. Soria set down the Nats in order for his 11th save of the season.
Darvish improved to 5-2 on the year with his 12-strikeout performance. He allowed just five scattered hits and walked two. In the process, he lowered his ERA to a minuscule 2.08 on the year.
On the other side, Roark suffered the tough loss after his strong seven innings. He gave up seven hits and just the one run off the bat of Martin in the seventh. He walked tow and fanned four batters in his fourth loss of the year.