Darvish, Rangers cap solid April with win over White Sox

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers couldn’t have drawn up the conclusion to April any better Tuesday night.

The Rangers had their top pitcher on the mound and an offense that woke up after a bad weekend in Minnesota.

That combination of Yu Darvish and a suddenly hot offense proved to be too much for the Chicago White Sox as the Rangers rallied for a 10-6 victory Tuesday night.

Even though Darvish allowed a season-high four runs on a season-high seven hits, he was still good enough to improve to 5-1 and become just the seventh Texas pitcher to win five games in April.

Darvish doesn’t have to be perfect when the offense is clicking, and it was Tuesday as the Rangers pounded out 12 hits and broke a 4-4 tie with a six-run sixth inning.

It’s the kind of game that puts a nice cap on an April that saw the Rangers win at least 17 games in April for just the fourth time.

“We’re a good team, a very good team,” said second baseman Ian Kinsler, who went 2 for 5 with two RBI and scored two runs. “We have a lot of people in here that love to win, love to play baseball. When you have that and you’re winning, it seems to snowball.”

It snowballed Tuesday in support of Darvish.

The Rangers gave Darvish a 4-2 lead going into the sixth inning but he couldn’t make that hold up as Dewayne Wise tied the game on a two-run homer in an inning that was kept alive after Darvish failed to cover first on a double-play ball.

But the Rangers were able to pick up Darvish in the bottom of the sixth. The Rangers sent nine batters to the plate and scored six times. Two of the runs came home on wild pitches and two more on Adrian Beltre’s homer. Mitch Moreland had an RBI double in the inning and Kinsler also added a run-scoring single.

The offense was a welcome sight after the Rangers scored just two runs in the final two games against Minnesota and had been shut out Sunday.

“The whole team was involved in getting support for Darvish,” said outfielder Nelson Cruz, who started back-to-back homers with Jeff Baker in the third inning. “He’s been throwing the ball really well the past few games so it was nice to get some runs on the board for him. He’s human.”

There may have been questions about that coming into Tuesday. Darvish had allowed just six hits and no runs in his last two starts and struck out 21. But Chicago got to him for two runs in the first inning and he never got into a dominant groove.

He did strike out nine but had to throw 108 pitches in six innings.

“I really couldn’t get into my rhythm from the beginning and it wasn’t really a smooth outing per se,” Darvish said. “Last year I think I gave up five (earned) runs against the White Sox, and I don’t think I won. However this year, although I gave up those two runs, I was able to keep the game close and give the team a chance to win.”

When Darvish is on the mound, the Rangers always have a chance. They also normally hit well. In five of his six starts this season, the Rangers have scored at least seven runs.

That comes as no surprise to the Rangers.

“When you have guy like that on the mound it can definitely relax you,” Kinsler said. “When you get good pitches it relaxes the offense. It relaxes everyone. It relaxes the defense. I’m sure the coaches are more relaxed. He’s very good and it impacts the whole team.”