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HOUSTON -- Yu Darvish caged the best offense in the Majors across seven innings, and he and the Rangers' bullpen combined on a two-hitter to earn the club's second win in eight games against the Astros this season, 6-1, on Monday at Minute Maid Park.
Darvish gave up one hit on 103 pitches in his sixth win of 2017 before Jeremy Jeffress (No. 16 overall pick, 2006 Draft, Halifax County in Virginia) allowed the other hit, while effectively using all of his pitches to shut the door on the Astros, who now have lost five of their last seven games.
"When you're facing a great pitcher like him and all five pitches are working for him, it's really tough," said Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (No. 1 overall, 2012 Draft, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy H.S.). "His cutter was working. His two-seamer was working. His four-seamer was working. His slider was working. His curveball was working. So, you know, you're trying to look for a good pitch to hit, and when you get it, try not to miss it. Obviously, it's not that easy. He did a great job today."
"I like the mound [dirt] here," Darvish said through an interpreter. "The sinker was working really well. I was able to stay calm and I knew what to do on each hitter."
With a pair of triples in the second inning, the Rangers (31-32) pegged Astros starter Joe Musgrove (No. 46 overall pick, 2011 Draft, Grossmont H.S. in California) -- who was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day to make his first start since May 26 -- with two quick runs to back Darvish.
"I felt really out of rhythm, out of sync," Musgrove said. "I feel like it was really execution tonight. I was behind a lot of guys, 1-0, 2-0. Then that second inning, I get two quick outs, then I allow three hits in a row. ... I've got to do a better job of getting those guys out."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gallo's near homer: In the second inning, after Rougned Odor got Texas on the board with an RBI triple, Joey Gallo (No. 39 overall pick, 2012 Draft, Bishop Gorman H.S. in Nevada) bashed his own triple off the wall in right field, scoring Odor. On a fielder mishap, Gallo attempted to take home on a fielder's choice but was ruled out at the plate, and the called was confirmed after a review.
"When I hit it, I thought it might have a chance to go out," Gallo said. "When I was running around first, I lost it, so I thought it went out. Then I saw it rolling in the outfield, so I assumed it hit off the wall, and I was thinking inside-the-park home run. Then a weird series of events happened. I was looking at the ball come in, and no one was watching [home plate]. I thought there was time, so I took off for home and tried to take a shot."
Bregman ends Yu's no-no:Alex Bregman (No. 2 overall, 2015 Draft, Louisiana State University) chipped an RBI single into left field in the fifth inning, tagging Darvish with his first -- and only -- hit of the night. According to Statcast™, Bregman's single had an 86 percent catch probability, but it landed and was scored as a base hit.
"We had a rough time with Darvish. He was very much doing Yu Darvish things. His breaking ball today, we've seen used often. His movement on his pitches was better. ... We didn't do a ton. We drew a ton of walks and couldn't really mount any pressure against them and couldn't handle his breaking ball." -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch, on Darvish
REDDICK LEAVES WITH CONCUSSION
While attempting to catch Gallo's triple, Astros right fielder Josh Reddick (17th round, 2006 Draft, Middle Georgia State) crashed into the right-field wall. He exited soon after and was diagnosed him with a mild concussion, and he will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
"It's something we're going to take day to day," Hinch said. "It is mild, but if he said he had any symptoms whatsoever, obviously we're going to take him out and take care of him."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Astros' franchise-record 19 straight games with a home run was snapped on Monday. Houston hit 37 homers in that stretch.
Since 2010 the Rangers have had five starts of seven-plus innings and allowing a single hit or no hits. Darvish has four of the five, all against Houston, three of them at Minute Maid Park.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Gallo's hit bounced high off the wall in right and was ruled a triple, scoring Odor, and Gallo was declared out at home plate. After two minutes and 57 seconds, a crew chief review confirmed that the baseball had struck an area of the field in play.
Rangers: Tuesday's game is the fifth of a six-game road trip for the Rangers, who send right-hander Nick Martinez to make the start at 7:10 p.m. CT.
Astros: Pitching on three days' rest and pushed up one day, right-hander Brad Peacock gets the start in place of the injured Lance McCullers
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