Darvish relies on cut fastball to baffle Twins

Yu Darvish held the Twins to four hits while recording 10 strikeouts in eight innings. Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Among the wide assortment of pitches at the disposal of Yu Darvish is a cut fastball.

The Texas Rangers' ace went to it often Saturday in a 5-0 victory over Minnesota at Globe Life Park.

In eight innings of shutout work, Darvish limited the Twins to four hits, all singles.

The combination of movement and variance of velocity with the cut fastball helped to produce 10 strikeouts, the fifth time this season and the 25th time in his career Darvish has reached double digits.

Recent fine-tuning of his delivery helped the right-hander break a personal two-game losing streak.

“I have several deliveries and I try to find the right one," Darvish said afterward.

When asked if he had found the ideal delivery, Darvish said he didn’t think so because of changing conditions for each game.

Chris Gimenez, who seems to have become Darvish’s personal catcher, said Darvish was aware that he hadn’t been “getting on top" of his pitches in recent outings.

“When Yu is able to stay behind the ball, when he creates that angle, he’s really, really good," Gimenez said. “We found an area we could attack where he could locate his pitches consistently. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."

By staying behind his cutter, Gimenez said Darvish was able to change eye levels for the Minnesota hitters.

Darvish’s recent tailspin might have added to his own resolve.

“I think it ticked him off a little bit," Gimenez said. “He was hit around a little and I think he got mad."

From the perspective of manager Ron Washington: “I thought he was Yu Darvish again. He found his off-speed stuff and used his cutter very well. He was really in command today."

Early in the game, Darvish and Gimenez seemed to have a communication problem with pitch selection. Gimenez jogged to the mound for a very short conference.

“I might have been flashing the signals too quickly," Gimenez said. “I just asked him what he wanted to throw. It turned out to be a curve. I want to stay on the same page with him as much as possible."