Darvish's dominant start foiled by Cabrera, Jays
Yu takes shutout into eighth inning before allowing two-run double
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' pitching staff has been hit hard by injuries. Their offense doesn't have that to fall back on as an excuse.
They just aren't hitting the way the Rangers expected and that continued on Friday night against Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison, who hadn't won since the second game of the season. Against the Rangers' struggling offense, Hutchison not only earned his second win but also the first shutout of his career.
The Rangers managed just three singles off Hutchison and wasted another terrific performance by Yu Darvish in a 2-0 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday night. The Rangers, who were shut out for the second time in three games, have lost eight of their last 11 and 14 of their last 20 games.
"Obviously we're not doing what we want to do," said Prince Fielder, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts as designated hitter. "We've got to stay positive and keep playing hard. The season doesn't stop because you hit some adversity. You've got to keep playing."
In that 20-game stretch, since their three-game sweep of the Athletics in Oakland, the Rangers are hitting .247 with 12 home runs, a .351 slugging percentage and an average of 3.65 runs per game.
"I don't think we've been able to put consistent at-bats together," outfielder Alex Rios said. "Obviously we're not where we want to be. Offensively we're capable of doing a lot of damage. We're not there yet. We're all still positive and believe we can do damage. But it's a little frustrating when we're not seeing the real power of our offense."
Darvish did not allow a hit until the fifth and was terrific for seven innings. But then a couple of bunt hits by Erik Kratz and Anthony Gose to lead off the eighth set up Melky Cabrera, who had the big hit of the game with a two-run double.
That was it off Darvish, who allowed five hits, walked three and struck out 11, but still ended up with the loss. He is now 3-2 with a 2.32 ERA on the season, and both losses have come on a night when the Rangers offense was shut out. This was the fifth time this season Darvish pitched without his team scoring a run before he was through for the night.
"I don't really get frustrated," Darvish said, "If I could hit, or if I could hit 50 home runs, which I can't -- there's nothing to be frustrated about. I respect all of my teammates, I believe in them and also the other pitcher was pitching pretty well tonight, too."
Darvish finished with 11 strikeouts. It's the 22nd time in his career that Darvish has struck out 10 or more batters in a game, third most in Rangers history. Nolan Ryan had 34 games with 10 or more strikeouts and Bobby Witt had 24.
"Really good, he was almost as good as our guy," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Tremendous, he's elite, he's in the top five in the game. You know you have to match him on the mound otherwise it's going to be a long, long night."
Adrian Beltre managed a single in the first and Leonys Martin had one leading off the third. But Martin was thrown out trying to steal second, and the Rangers did not have another hit until Rougned Odor led off the ninth with an infield single. Between those two hits, Hutchison retired 18 of 19 batters with only Martin reaching on a sixth-inning walk.
"I think for most guys, it was their first time seeing him tonight," outfielder Shin-Soo Choo said. "He pitched great. A couple guys hit it hard a couple times. … I think it was a tough game for us because Yu Darvish pitched extremely well today. He did a great job. You try to come out of a slump as soon as possible, but sometimes it makes it worse."
Manager Ron Washington made it clear there's not much he can do as far as trying to shake up the lineup.
"I have good quality guys out there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It's a matter of them consistently getting at-bats before everything falls into place. These are the guys I have in place. They're it. If they're not going to get it done, we're not going to get it done."
The Blue Jays found a way to get it done through the bunt. Kratz led off the eighth with a bunt single. Gose, the Blue Jays' No. 9 hitter, then dropped a sacrifice bunt to move Kratz to second but also beat it out for a hit.
"We had been talking the whole game about how we needed to get something going," Kratz said. "We just couldn't get anything going, we had a couple of guys on … We just had to try to get something going and I wasn't squaring him up, so it was just an idea and it worked."
Jose Reyes followed with a flyout to deep right that moved Kratz to third and then Cabrera hit the game-winner with a double into the right-field corner.