ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Christian Yelich and the Miami Marlins figured Yu Darvish was quite the obstacle between them and a record interleague winning streak.
The Japanese ace lived up to that billing.
Darvish pitched his first complete game in the majors, Shin-Soo Choo broke a long hitless streak with a three-run double and the Texas Rangers beat the Marlins 6-0 Wednesday night.
“It’s probably the first time a lot of us had ever faced him,” said Yelich, who reached his first two times on a walk and a single. “You can watch film on him all you want. But until you actually get in the box and see what his stuff does or how he approaches you, it’s tough.”
The Marlins had to settle for tying the New York Yankees (2003-04) and Tampa Bay (2004) for the longest interleague winning streak at 13 games. It was Miami’s first interleague loss since last Aug. 12 at Kansas City.
Darvish struck out 10 in his six-hitter, including all three in the eighth to end a streak of one baserunner in each of the first seven innings for the Marlins.
The Texas right-hander wrapped up his 73rd career start by getting Garrett Jones to swing at a pitch in the dirt. Catcher Chris Gimenez had to finish it off with a throw to first.
“I don’t think we really have anybody like that,” Miami manager Mike Redmond said when asked what NL pitchers compared to Darvish, who was facing the Marlins for the first time.
Darvish let out a good yell and pumped both fists before Gimenez greeted him in front of the mound after the final out. He wasn’t necessarily celebrating his first complete game. His battery mate says he does that all the time.
“He just kind of looked at me and goes, ‘Yeah!’ That’s what I said back to him,” Gimenez said. “He likes going ‘Yes!’ all the time. We kind of goof around with each other about it.”
The closest Darvish had come to a complete game were the two times he lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. The first was a perfect game bid against Houston last year. The other was against Boston a month ago, although a scoring change a few days later altered that.
“I wasn’t really conscious of throwing a complete game,” Darvish said through a translator. “I thought I was going to be out of the game after the eighth inning, but when (manager Ron Washington) told me that I’m going in the ninth inning as well, I decided to go. And I also wanted to face (Giancarlo) Stanton again.”
Darvish gave up his final single to Stanton leading off the ninth, but Casey McGehee grounded into Miami’s third double play before Jones whiffed.
The Rangers (32-34) snapped a four-game losing streak and avoided falling four games under .500 for the first time since 2008.
Choo was in an 0-for-18 slump when he pulled a line drive past Jones at first with the bases loaded in the third against Jacob Turner (2-4). When Stanton couldn’t cut off the ball in right field, Elvis Andrus scored easily from first for a 3-0 lead.
Choo had a single in the fifth that again brought home Andrus, who had three hits.
Darvish, who won his fourth straight start for the first time in Texas, blew a 4-0 lead in his last start against Cleveland but still got the win in a 6-4 Texas victory. There were no such threats this time.
Marcell Ozuna helped Darvish by getting thrown out at second base by left fielder Michael Choice after a leadoff single in the seventh. Justin Bour followed with a walk, but Darvish started a double play on J.T. Realmuto to end the inning.
Jones had one of the singles on a 59 mph curveball before Darvish struck out Ozuna looking on a knee-buckling slider. Darvish, who threw 116 pitches, got Stanton swinging on another slider in the sixth.
“In one at-bat, he shook (off) like seven times before he threw the pitch,” Yelich said. “He can throw all those pitches for strikes and keep guys off-balance. I thought we had some opportunities there at the beginning, and we just couldn’t capitalize.”
Turner finished the fourth inning after getting hit on the right side by a line drive from Rougned Odor, but the right-hander didn’t come out for the fifth. He gave up six hits and five earned runs.
NOTES: This was the first meeting between the Marlins and Rangers since July 2011. They play two more in Miami on Aug. 19-20. … Yelich reached safely in six straight plate appearances going back to Tuesday, when he had career highs with four hits and four RBIs.
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