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Sports

May 6, 2013

Darvish leads Rangers to sweep of Red Sox

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish pumped his fist coming off the mound after the last of his 127 pitches, ending the seventh inning with his 14th strikeout against Boston.

“Unbelievable, unbelievable,” Adrian Beltre said. “He was incredible. He’s been doing it all year.”

Darvish matched his career high for strikeouts before leaving a tie game, and Beltre had an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Rangers won 4-3 yesterday, completing a three-game sweep and matching the Red Sox for the best record in the majors.

Beltre reached down and out over the plate to line a hit to right-center off Clayton Mortensen (0-2). That sent home Elvis Andrus, who had reached on a two-out bloop single and moved up on a wild pitch before the Red Sox opted to intentionally walk Lance Berkman and bring Beltre to the plate.

“We showed a lot of heart right there,” Andrus said. “That shows for us how good we are right now.”

The Rangers, Red Sox and St. Louis all have 20-11 marks. Boston has its first three-game losing streak this season.

While Darvish had 14 strikeouts for the second time this season, the right-hander from Japan allowed multiple homers in a game for only the second time in his 36 starts for the Rangers. David Ortiz and David Ross homered in the first two innings.

“After I gave up those runs, I told myself I was only a couple of runs behind. I was trying to stay focused and not dwell on what had happened,” Darvish said through his translator.

Rangers closer Joe Nathan (1-0), the third reliever, worked around a walk and a hit in the ninth.

The game was 3-3 when Darvish threw the last of 78 strikes among a career-high pitches thrown, denying him a chance at his sixth victory to equal the most in the majors. He did up his majors-best strikeout total to 72, and was still throwing in the mid-90s before punctuating his exit with consecutive strikeouts with a runner on base.

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