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07/22/2013 11:23 PM EDT
Darvish back for Rangers in 3-0 win over Yankees
TEXAS 3, NY YANKEES 0

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The slumping Texas Rangers a couple of
boosts for their starting rotation.



Yu Darvish returned from a 15-day break by allowing only two
singles over 6 1-3 scoreless innings and Texas beat the New York
Yankees 3-0 Monday night.



"You could see he was fresh," manager Ron Washington said. "He
was certainly sharp. Sharper than I thought he would be."



Also, the Rangers announced right before the game that they had
acquired right-hander Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs.



"Last few years when we get pitchers like him we go to the World
Series," said Nelson Cruz, who homered. "So that's good news."



Darvish (9-4), who last pitched July 6 before going on the
disabled list with a right trapezius strain, struck out four and
walked two. He left after allowing consecutive batters to reach
in the seventh, having thrown 60 of 90 pitches for strikes.



The Yankees could have to face the newest Texas ace before they
leave town. Garza, pulled from his scheduled start for the Cubs
at Arizona on Monday night, is likely to make his Texas debut on
Wednesday night.



"You've got to commend (general manager) Jon Daniels and the
group the way it worked to try to put this together, and they
got us what we needed," Washington said. "We got a tremendous
starting pitcher."



The Rangers had lost seven of eight games, getting swept at home
in a three-game series by Baltimore over the weekend after the
All-Star break.



Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP, was
suspended without pay for the rest of the season and the
postseason Monday, the start of sanctions involving players
reportedly tied to a Florida clinic accused of distributing
performance-enhancing drugs. Cruz is among more than a dozen
other players also targeted by MLB for having connections to the
now-closed anti-aging clinic in Miami.



"I guess it is what it is. I don't have any comment," Cruz said
when asked about Braun.



Cruz also said he's "playing the same way. We're playing to win.
We're in the race so I come to the ballpark thinking about
winning. So that's my goal."



Three relievers wrapped up the three-hitter that was the eighth
shutout of the season for the Rangers. All-Star closer Joe
Nathan pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 32 chances



Texas had reliever Robbie Ross warming up while batting in the
sixth. But Darvish came out to start the seventh, and appeared
surprised when Washington came out of the dugout to make the
pitching change.



"He was a little bit earlier than I thought, but I had about 15
days with a break and I think Wash was thinking about my body
and how I felt, so I really appreciated what he's done," Darvish
said through an interpreter.



New York didn't have a hit until Lyle Overbay led off the fifth
with a bloop single into short left field that was out of the
reach of third baseman Adrian Beltre. The Yankees didn't have
another hit until Overbay lined a single to right in the
seventh, just before Vernon Wells walked and Darvish came out of
the game.



"It seemed like he located really well," Yankees manager Joe
Girardi said. "His fastball, our guys were talking about it, he
was giving us first-pitch fastball, but it was all on the corner
or down in the zone, he wasn't giving them a whole lot to swing
at."



Ross got Travis Hafner, the only batter he faced, to ground into
an inning-ending double play. Tanner Scheppers worked a perfect
eighth.



Ivan Nova (4-3) struck out four while throwing a season-high 112
pitches over seven innings.



The Yankees, coming off an 11-inning loss late Sunday night at
Boston, were held scoreless for the eighth time.



"It's something we have to deal with, so we got to find a way to
do that," Overbay said. "Tonight, I don't know if any of those
had an effect on us. It was more Darvish was on his game."



Cruz's 23rd homer was a 412-foot solo shot in the seventh that
landed in the Yankees' bullpen in left-center field and made it
3-0.



The Rangers led for good after Ian Kinsler drew a leadoff walk
in the first, stole second base and scored on Beltre's single -
the first run they've scored in the first inning in 11 games. In
the sixth, Elvis Andrus had a walk and a stolen base before
Geovany Soto doubled.



NOTES: Darvish only missed one start for Texas, but was unable
to pitch in the All-Star game even though he did go to New York
last week. ... Texas sent rookie right-hander Justin Grimm, top
prospect third baseman Mike Olt and Class-A pitcher C.J. Edwards
to the Cubs. There will also be at least one player to be named
later, possibly two, depending on who is chosen by Chicago. ...
The Rangers' bullpen has pitched 22 1-3 consecutive scoreless
innings. ... Yankees OF Curtis Granderson, expected back early
next month from a broken pinkie, got three at-bats in his first
simulated game in Tampa and continued running the bases.
Granderson said he feels like it's "at the spring training point
again" where preseason games are just a few days away. His
status will be evaluated after simulated games Tuesday and
Wednesday.

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