Game of the day: Rangers 5, Padres 4: Not quite perfect, Darvish throws three hitless innings

2013-03-05T00:00:00Z Game of the day: Rangers 5, Padres 4: Not quite perfect, Darvish throws three hitless inningsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 05, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SURPRISE - Not even Yu Darvish can stay perfect perpetually.

Darvish allowed two walks and struck out three in three hitless innings in the Texas Rangers' 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Monday.

Darvish, who struck out two in two perfect innings in his first start, threw 23 of his 39 pitches for strikes.

"I think the definition of a good pitcher is to get outs when you don't have your good stuff," Darvish said. "I did that today so I think it was a good outing."

San Diego made some solid contact against Darvish. Engel Beltre made a running catch just shy of the right-center field wall in the first, Adrian Beltre stopped a sharp bouncer to third to start a double play in the second and David Murphy caught an Alexi Amarista fly ball near the fence in left in the third to end Darvish's outing.

"Although I didn't have all my pitches today, my slider was working particularly well so I tried to focus on that pitch as much as possible and it worked out," Darvish said. "Even if you don't have your best stuff you have to think and manage the other lineup. I think that's what I did today and I think that's what I'm going to keep doing."

Rangers manager Ron Washington said he didn't see much different from Darvish.

"I didn't see it but I wasn't on the mound," Washington said.

Adrian Beltre was seeing his first game action of the spring after being slowed by tightness in his right calf. Beltre doubled down the right-field line to lead off the first, reached on an error and grounded out in three at-bats.

"I don't need a lot of at-bats," Beltre said. "It depends how I feel. Most of my best years have been when I take less at-bats in spring training. Sometimes in a long spring training, I start at the beginning and by the end I don't feel good. It all depends on how I feel."

Padres starter Eric Stults struggled in the first inning before settling down to complete his scheduled three innings. Stults allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in the first but then retired six of the final seven batters he faced.

"The second time out, it was a little easier," said Stults, who allowed four runs on a hit and two walks in his first start.

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