ARLINGTON, Texas -- When his night was over, Rangers ace Yu Darvish pumped his arms twice and yelled as loud as he could.
The crowd of 44,508 let out a louder “Yuuuuuu” as he walked off the mound.
It’s nights like this that remind you how special baseball can be around here, especially with Darvish on the mound.
The Rangers ended a two-game losing streak with a nice 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night.
By mixing up his pitches, including using an effective slider, Darvish (10-6) was strong in seven innings of work. He now has won at least 10 games in each of his first three seasons in the big leagues.
Rangers first baseman J.P. Arencibia had the big hit -- a two-out, two-strike single to break a 2-2 tie -- but it was Darvish with the bigger blow.
He struck out Brian McCann on a pitch landing in the dirt with two on and two out to end the seventh inning with the biggest out of the game.
How it happened?: The Yankees jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Brett Gardner’s solo home runs. In Gardner’s career, he’s produced four home runs against Darvish, tied with Mike Trout and Brandon Moss. On the season, Darvish has allowed 13 home runs. He allowed 26 last season. After Darvish gave up the second homer of the night to Gardner in the fifth, he smiled in disbelief.
The Rangers’ hitters responded for Darvish in their half of the fifth, all of it happening with two outs. Elvis Andrus drove in the first run with a single to left. An Alex Rios single to center set up Adrian Beltre, the Rangers’ best hitter. He ripped a double to left, bringing in Andrus to tie the game. Yankees starter David Phelps walked Jim Adduci to set up Arencibia, who left five runners on base in the loss to Oakland on Sunday night.
This time, Arencibia delivered with a solid single up the middle to drive in two runs that pushed the Rangers to a 4-2 lead. Arencibia has nine of the Rangers’ 30 RBIs in the second half of the season, including four on this six-game homestand.
History is made: Derek Jeter got a standing ovation from the crowd during his first at-bat, then was booed for stepping out of the box when he didn’t like a strike called against him. It doesn’t matter; Jeter had three hits and a walk. The biggest hit, of course, was his seventh-inning single to right that moved him past Carl Yastrzemski for seventh place on the all-time hit list at 3,420.
The first game is the thing: For the fourth time in the second half of the season, the Rangers won the first game of a series. They haven’t won a series since taking two of three against Minnesota June 27-29, but the Rangers have won the first game of series against New York (twice), Toronto and Oakland. Texas is 2-13-1 in the past 16 series and has lost its past seven since beating the Twins back in June.