TORONTO – Yu Darvish had 10 strikeouts for the seventh time this season, and went seven innings for the first time since July 21.
Even though he pitched well, the Toronto Blue Jays pitched better in a 3-2 victory on Friday at the Rogers Centre.
The Rangers have lost four of their last five games, and could see their lead in the American League West drop to five games if Oakland wins later tonight against Cleveland.
Darvish gave up all three runs on three hits with one walk over seven innings.
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Toronto jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Edwin Encarnacion swatted a two-run home run to left in the first.
The Rangers, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything going offensively against lefty J.A. Happ. He kept the Rangers off balance and whiffing early in the game, striking out six consecutive batters in the second and third innings to tie a franchise record.
The Rangers didn’t have a base runner until Ian Kinsler drew a leadoff walk in the fourth, but Happ retired the next three batters.
Michael Young broke up Happ’s no-hit bid with a single to open the fifth. He moved to second on a single by David Murphy, third on a sacrifice bunt by Geovany Soto and scored on Craig Gentry’s groundout.
That was the only run the Rangers scored off Happ, who went six innings with eight strikeouts.
Toronto took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Anthony Gose had a two-out triple on a ball that bounced off a diving Gentry's glove, and scored on a single by Rajai Davis.
Darvish retired the final seven batters he faced.
The Rangers pulled to within 3-2 with a run in the seventh when Blue Jays third baseman Omar Vizquel booted Mike Olt’s grounder, allowing Adrian Beltre to score.
That was as close as the Rangers would come.
-- Drew Davison