ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Yu Darvish matched Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel through four scoreless innings Friday night, and it appeared that a dazzling pitching duel was starting to heat up.But Darvish ran into trouble with two outs in the fifth, and couldn't get out of it unscathed. Instead, he gave
ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Yu Darvish matched Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel through four scoreless innings Friday night, and it appeared that a dazzling pitching duel was starting to heat up.
But Darvish ran into trouble with two outs in the fifth, and couldn't get out of it unscathed. Instead, he gave up a three-run home run to Carlos Correa, and the duel of two aces turned into a 7-1 victory for the Astros at Globe Life Park.
It was the second straight start Darvish was beaten by a three-run homer in the fifth. It happened last Saturday against Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays in a 3-1 loss.
"To be honest, I have no excuses," Darvish said through an interpreter. "I felt good going into the game."
Darvish did not have his best slider. That's usually his best pitch, but it's the one that Correa beat him on.
"Probably not the best command that he's had," manager Jeff Banister said. "The [cut fastball], the slider, didn't have his sharpest stuff, left a couple of them up."
The game was delayed two hours and six minutes because of rain. Darvish said that didn't bother him, but he also didn't get his usual help from the wind. Friday's wind wasn't blowing in favor of good slider movement.
"I'm not making excuses, but the wind does affect my pitches," Darvish said. "It's tough to get good movement on that slider against the wind."
Darvish retired the first two hitters in the fifth, before giving up a single to Josh Reddick and a double to Jose Altuve, putting runners on second and third. That brought up Correa, who had struck out on a hanging slider in the first and then again against three straight fastballs in the third.
Darvish went soft on him in the fifth, first with a slider for a ball and then a cut fastball that Correa missed. Darvish tried one more slider.
"He was swinging early," catcher Robinson Chirinos said. "If he executes that pitch, we get him to roll the ball over. It was just a bad pitch."
Correa hit it over the left-field wall to give the Astros a 3-0 lead.
"I'm not going to question the pitch selection," Banister said. "This is a multi-pitch guy, with plus stuff on all of those pitches, so pitch selection doesn't really come into play for me as much as just the sharpness of the stuff."
Darvish got out of the fifth without further damage, but left after throwing 104 pitches. His next start will be Wednesday against the Mets.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.