Darvish ends victory drought as Rangers take series from Reds

Yu Darvish won for the first time in more than six weeks, working off his fastball most of the day.

Darvish threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings, and got the win after the Texas Rangers held on for a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark. The Rangers took the series against the Reds, 2-1, and have won four of their last five.

It was Darvish’s first victory since May 16, as he endured a seven-start winless streak, the longest in his career.

Darvish needed 117 pitches to get through 6 2/3, scattering four hits with eight strikeouts and four walks. It was a much-needed performance by Darvish, who was locked in a pitchers’ duel with Reds starter Mat Latos.

The Rangers broke a scoreless game with two runs in the fifth. Engel Beltre led off with a bunt single, and Leonys Martin followed with a double to right-center field.

After Ian Kinsler struck out, Elvis Andrus laid down a squeeze bunt that scored Beltre and Martin. Latos fielded the bunt, but his throw home hit Beltre on the side of the head and bounced away far enough to allow Martin to score.

The Rangers cushioned their lead to 3-0 in the seventh on an RBI single by Nelson Cruz.

The Reds rallied in the eighth, though, against Tanner Scheppers. Zack Cozart drew a walk and Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips each singled. Scheppers was then pulled in the middle of an at-bat with Jay Bruce, as Neal Cotts came in.

Cotts gave up a sacrifice fly to Bruce and another one to pinch-hitter Chris Heisey. Jason Frasor entered and got the final out of the inning, keeping the Rangers' lead intact.

Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth for his 27th save of the season.

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