Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rangers 5, Pirates 2 Streak Broken at Five Darvish Makes Successful Return, Allows 3 Hits and Strikes out 7 in 1st Start since August 2014

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rangers 5, Pirates 2 Streak Broken at Five Darvish Makes Successful Return, Allows 3 Hits and Strikes out 7 in 1st Start since August 2014

Article excerpt

ARLINGTON, Texas - Even though it had been almost two years since Yu Darvish previously took the mound at Globe Life Park, it didn't take long for him to offer a reminder as to why a full house showed up to watch his return.

Darvish flummoxed the Pirates over five innings en route to a 5-2 Rangers victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 46,950, all of whom were more than happy to bellow "Yuuuuuuu" for the first time since 2014.

Darvish, a three-time All-Star who missed all of 2015 after offseason Tommy John surgery, allowed three hits, one run and struck out seven. He changed speeds effectively and, in his first start since Aug. 9, 2014, looked every bit the ace he was before the surgery.

"Yeah, I think Darvish is going to be OK once he knocks the rust off," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said, with more than a hint of sarcasm, after the game.

Even the red-hot Pirates offense had no answers for Darvish, as they saw their five-game winning streak come to an end. They had averaged eight runs per game over that stretch, but didn't come close to that Saturday night.

"[Darvish] looks like he's his normal, dominant self," Pirates first baseman John Jaso said.

The Rangers, meanwhile, jumped on Pirates starter Juan Nicasio early. They scored three runs in the first inning, highlighted by an Adrian Beltre two-run homer to dead center field.

Hurdle said he thought Nicasio needed to come out with more of an edge in the first inning.

"The first pitch of the game is an important pitch," Hurdle said. "I don't want a feeling-out process.

"That first inning, we've got to go out and impose our will on somebody. It just seemed like he was working his way into the game."

Nicasio did settle in after the first, only allowing one more run on a solo home run by Mitch Moreland in the fifth. He gave up seven hits and four runs over 4? …

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