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Yu takes high road after ugly outing, incident

Darvish allows 4 runs in 1 2/3 innings of Game 3 loss
MLB.com @kengurnick

HOUSTON -- Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish couldn't get out of the second inning in Friday night's 5-3 loss to the Astros that dropped Los Angeles in a 2-1 hole for the best-of-seven World Series.

"I think there was one swing-and-miss when he was out there," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after watching Darvish's shortest Major League start and the only start in which he did not record a strikeout.

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HOUSTON -- Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish couldn't get out of the second inning in Friday night's 5-3 loss to the Astros that dropped Los Angeles in a 2-1 hole for the best-of-seven World Series.

"I think there was one swing-and-miss when he was out there," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after watching Darvish's shortest Major League start and the only start in which he did not record a strikeout.

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While Darvish's performance on the mound was not impressive, his graceful handling of an unfortunate racial gesture by Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel most certainly was.

Gurriel homered to lead off the second inning. Television cameras showed Gurriel in the dugout after the home run making the gesture and appearing to mouth the word "Chinito," which translates to "little Chinese boy." He apologized after the game.

"I didn't want to offend anybody," Gurriel said. "I don't want to offend him or anybody in Japan. I have a lot of respect. I played in Japan."

After learning of the issue, Darvish expressed disappointment in Gurriel, but later issued a statement on Twitter.

"No one is perfect," he wrote. "That includes both you and I. What he had done today isn't right, but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him. If we can take something from this, this is a giant step for mankind. Since we are living such in a wonderful world, let's stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger. I'm counting on everyone's big love."

Tweet from @faridyu: pic.twitter.com/2e2JJLg821

It's been an up-and-down ride for Darvish with the Dodgers since he was acquired from Texas for a trio of prospects at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. In his last start, he spun 6 1/3 innings of domination over the Cubs in the National League Championship Series.

Video: WS2017 Gm3: Yu Darvish discusses Dodgers' loss

That, of course, is why Darvish was brought to Los Angeles. His first start for the Dodgers was a masterpiece, 10 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings. But it was determined by management that the arm slot of Darvish's slider had changed following Tommy John surgery, and his mechanics were reworked while he struggled through five starts. He appeared to turn things around in his most recent five starts, going 4-0 with a 0.88 ERA that included the clinching win in the NL Division Series and the Game 3 win in the NLCS.

Friday's start, however, Darvish compared to his final start with the Rangers prior to the trade.

"I had one of those games this year with the Rangers. I pitched against Miami and I just had one of those days," said Darvish. "Today, it's a playoff game and we can't lose any of those games. It was just a tough game."

Video: Must C Crucial: Gurriel leads four-run 2nd with homer

George Springer set the tone leading off the first inning with a double. Darvish pitched around that for a scoreless frame, but Gurriel's home run leading off the second inning began a barrage that he could not contain.

"We hit his fastball, which was really good," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch. "He started throwing a few more changeups, trying to disrupt us, a few slow breaking balls. So it looked like he was out of sorts based on how he's pitched in the last month. I think our discipline, our approach was very, very, very refined to just getting a good fastball to hit once we thought his slider and cutter weren't as effective."

Video: WS2017 Gm3: Hinch on forcing Darvish out in the 2nd

A double by Josh Reddick and a walk by Evan Gattis were followed by a Roberts trip to the mound. But nothing changed, as Marwin Gonzalez singled off the wall for the second run, Brian McCann singled in the third run, and Alex Bregman's sacrifice fly scored the fourth.

Houston hammered six batted balls with exit velocities of at least 100 mph, the most 100-plus mph batted balls Darvish has allowed in any game since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015.

"So right there you find yourself after five outs down 4-0, you have to go right there -- had to go to the 'pen to give us a chance to stay in that game," said Roberts, who was criticized in many quarters after Game 2 for taking Rich Hill out too early after four innings.

Video: McMaster, Nelson recap Darvish's tough start

It was the shortest start by a Dodger in a World Series game since John Tudor, similarly acquired during the season to get Los Angeles to the World Series, was removed from Game 3 in the 1988 World Series after retiring four batters when his elbow ligament tore.

Another reason for acquiring Darvish was so the Dodgers could avoid the temptation to start ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw on short rest. They won't do that in Game 4 -- Alex Wood will get that start Saturday -- but with Darvish set up to start a Game 7, if it gets that far, you have to wonder if Kershaw, the Game 5 starter, would be called upon at the first sign of trouble.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Yu Darvish