Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Tampa Bay won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, April 4
Texas1Final
Tampa Bay8
Game 2: Saturday, April 5
Texas4Final
Tampa Bay5
Game 3: Sunday, April 6
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Tampa Bay0

Rangers 3

(3-3, 1-2 away)

Rays 0

(4-3, 4-3 home)

    Coverage:  SUN

    1:40 PM ET, April 6, 2014

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

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    W: Y. Darvish (1-0)

    L: J. Peralta (0-1)

    S: J. Soria (1)

    Yu Darvish returns to help Rangers blank Rays

    ESPN.com news services

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Yu Darvish showed no rust after missing three weeks.

    Darvish allowed seven hits over seven innings in his season debut, Elvis Andrus hit a two-run homer, and the Texas Rangers avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 on Sunday.

    "He was in control of the game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was using his pitches. He was throwing strikes. And that's what he does."

    Darvish (1-0) struck out six and walked one. Sidelined by neck stiffness, it was his first outing since a spring training game on March 16.

    "I didn't feel anything unusual," Darvish said through an interpreter.

    Andrus put the Rangers up 2-0 with his homer off Joel Peralta (0-1) in the eighth. Donnie Murphy made it 3-0 on an RBI infield during the ninth.

    "He's going to get five a year, and today was one of them," Washington said of Andrus' homer. "It was huge. We needed it. Today, he drove the bus."

    Neal Cotts replaced Alexi Ogando for the Rangers with two on and two outs in the eighth, and struck out Matt Joyce on a 3-2 pitch. Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his first save.

    Alex Cobb scattered three hits, walked one and struck out six in seven shutout innings for the Rays.

    "Unfortunately for us, he was really on," Cobb said of Darvish.

    Only one runner reached second against Cobb.

    "He didn't give up any pitches," Andrus said. "I thought he was painting the whole game. I'm really glad that we had Yu out there. He was doing the same thing for us."

    Tampa Bay had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but failed to score when Wil Myers hit an infield pop fly and Ben Zobrist flew out.

    Darvish got three consecutive outs after allowing Evan Longoria's double to lead off the sixth. He also worked out of a jam during the seventh after Ryan Hanigan hit a leadoff double.

    "We just did not get the knocks when we needed it," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.

    The Rays were hitless in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position against Darvish, and 0 for 11 overall.

    "As usual, you've got a team over there that fights forever," Washington said. "They put themselves in some good positions to score some runs, but Yu made the pitches when he had to."

    Game notes


    Darvish was activated from the 15-day disabled list and RHP Nick Martinez was optioned to Double-A Frisco. ... Rangers RHP Colby Lewis (hip surgery) gave up four runs and four hits over five innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Round Rock. ... Texas LHP Joe Saunders (bruised left ankle) is not expected to be ready for his regular bullpen session Monday and could miss his next start. ... Texas RHP Tanner Scheppers (0-0) will face Boston RHP John Lackey (1-0) Monday night in the opener of a three-games series at Fenway Park. ... Tampa Bay LHP Matt Moore (0-1) and Royals LHP Jason Vargas (0-0) are the scheduled starters for Monday night's game in Kansas City.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumTropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
    Attendance22,569 (66.2% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:01
    Weatherindoors
    UmpiresHome Plate - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt

    Research Notes

    Yu Darvish needed just over 400 innings to record 500 strikeouts, the fewest for any starting pitcher in MLB history.
      [+]
    Yu Darvish held right-handed hitters to just a .500 OPS on the road in 2013 while striking out batters in 43.1 percent of their plate appearances (second in MLB). At home in 2013, Evan Longoria struck out in 23.3 percent of his plate appearances against right-handed pitching, which was sixth worst in the American League.

    ESPN Stats & Information