Arlington, TX – Yu Darvish tossed six scoreless frames and Texas edged Cincinnati, 3-2, in the rubber match of a three-game interleague series.
Darvish (8-3) allowed four hits and four walks while fanning eight in 6 2/3 innings, while Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus drove in a run each for the Rangers, who have won eight of their last 10.
Joe Nathan turned in a scoreless ninth to earn his 27th save.
Jay Bruce and Chris Heisey knocked in a run apiece for the Reds, who have dropped seven of their last nine. Mat Latos (7-2) was charged in defeat for eight hits and three runs -- two earned -- while fanning nine with two walks over 6 2/3 frames.
"We couldn't get the timely hit when we needed it," Bruce said.
Darvish exited in the seventh with a 2-0 lead, with Robbie Ross getting the final out of the frame. Tanner Scheppers got the call, but was lifted after loading the bases with none out in the eighth, thanks to walking Zack Cozart and allowing singles to Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.
Neal Cotts then surrendered a pair of sacrifice flies to Bruce and Heisey to draw the Reds within 3-2, but Jason Frasor retired Todd Frazier on a fly out to end the rally.
"I didn't think (Darvish) was losing steam. I just thought he had done a good enough job in that heat," Rangers manager Ron Washington said when asked why he pulled his starter.
Nathan restored order, turning aside Cincinnati in order during its final turn at the plate.
Texas finally dented Latos in the fifth. Engel Beltre reached on a leadoff bunt single and Leonys Martin followed with a double. After Ian Kinsler fanned, Andrus laid down a bunt that Latos fielded, but botched the throw to first, allowing both runners to come home.
Martin started the seventh with a hit and stole second, then after Kinsler fouled out, moved to third on an Andrus single. Cruz added a run-scoring hit, then Andrus advanced to second on an Adrian Beltre fly.
Manny Parra spelled Latos and walked Mitch Moreland, but David Murphy flied out with the sacks full to keep it 3-0.
Darvish had gone 0-2 with six no-decisions since his last win, a 10-4 triumph over Detroit on May 16, where he worked eight strong innings ... Texas ended the month of June with a 14-14 record, while Cincinnati turned in a 12-15 mark in the season's third month.