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Darvish solid, but lack of run support continues

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Going into his start Wednesday, Rangers ace Yu Darvish had the fourth-lowest run support among qualified American League starters, as the team's offense had averaged 3.66 runs while the right-hander was on the mound. Darvish delivered a strong performance against the Indians at Progressive Field, but once again, he fell victim to a lack of run support.

Darvish spun his team-high 12th quality start of the season in the Rangers' 5-3 loss to the Indians. He went six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk on 101 pitches. Darvish left the game trailing 3-1.

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CLEVELAND -- Going into his start Wednesday, Rangers ace Yu Darvish had the fourth-lowest run support among qualified American League starters, as the team's offense had averaged 3.66 runs while the right-hander was on the mound. Darvish delivered a strong performance against the Indians at Progressive Field, but once again, he fell victim to a lack of run support.

Darvish spun his team-high 12th quality start of the season in the Rangers' 5-3 loss to the Indians. He went six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk on 101 pitches. Darvish left the game trailing 3-1.

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The outing marked the fifth time in his last six starts that Darvish has received two or fewer runs of support, and the 10th time in 17 starts he has gotten fewer than three runs from the offense while on the mound.

"My focus is to just do my job and get out there and go as deep as I can," Darvish said through the team translator. "I'm not a hitter, and I'm not out there trying hard to score runs, so it is out of my control. But I trust my guys."

With Darvish on the rubber, the only run the Rangers were able to muster came on a solo shot from Robinson Chirinos in the fifth. Other than that, the Rangers got a runner to second base just one other time in the first six innings.

Video: TEX@CLE: Darvish, Beltre cut down a run at home

"We were unable to capitalize on getting runners on and getting multiple runs in," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.

After Wednesday's start, Darvish's run support dropped to 3.47. However, Darvish did not let the lack of offense impact the way he pitched. Although he did not have a feel for his off-speed pitches, Darvish found success by turning to his sinker and four-seam fastball.

"I think he was [struggling] to find a rhythm with his off-speed stuff," Banister said. "It wasn't as dynamic as we've seen in the past. But really, the four-seam fastball and the sinker were probably the best we've seen all year. He didn't break out the cutter until late. I thought he did a fine job with those three pitches."

Per Statcast™, Darvish threw 45 four-seamers, 19 sinkers and nine cutters. He threw 28 total off-speed pitches.

"I was getting ground balls, but a few went through the infielders," Darvish said. "It is what it is, but overall, I felt like I had decent stuff."

Darvish retired nine of the final 11 Indians hitters he faced on the night, including six in a row to finish his outing. Even though Darvish has allowed three runs or fewer in 14 of his 17 starts, his record is 6-6 following Wednesday's loss.

Darvish's start followed up one of his strongest outings of the season; he fired seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball, with 10 K's, in a no-decision against the Yankees on Friday. Darvish left that start with right triceps tightness. Darvish said he came into Wednesday's start cautious, but did not have any problems with his triceps.

"Going into today's outing, I was thinking this may be my last outing because of my triceps," Darvish said. "But I was able to pitch, and then I felt good toward the end of the game."

William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish