Yu Darvish struck out nine over seven strong innings to remain undefeated in his rookie campaign, as the Texas Rangers opened their three-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays with a 4-1 victory on Monday.
Darvish (4-0) allowed one run on four hits and two walks, and Mitch Moreland and Craig Gentry hit back-to-back solo home runs for Texas, which has alternated wins and losses in its last five outings.
Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
Kyle Drabek (2-2) was the tough-luck loser, surrendering two runs on five hits and two walks while fanning eight. Edwin Encarnacion homered in the losing effort, Toronto's fifth in its last seven.
In the second inning, Adrian Beltre hit a leadoff double and moved to third on David Murphy's fly ball. Nelson Cruz then smacked Drabek's 0-1 curveball off the right-center field wall for an RBI double.
Ian Kinsler came around to score on Elvis Andrus' double after drawing a walk an inning later.
After Toronto went 3 2/3 innings without a hit, Encarnacion got to Darvish in the fourth, launching his 1-1 slider over the wall in left. It was the first home run allowed by the Japanese import since he joined the Rangers.
But Moreland got the run back in the seventh, taking reliever Evan Crawford's offering out to left, and Gentry lifted one into the left-field seats five pitches later.
Encarnacion's home run ended a string of 14 consecutive scoreless innings by Darvish...Encarnacion has 21 RBI on the season...Toronto was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position...Tuesday's second test features Neftali Feliz (1-1) for Texas against Toronto's Drew Hutchison (1-0).