Yu Darvish was sharp in his return from the disabled list, helping the Texas Rangers slam the brakes on their skid with a 3-0 win over the equally slumping New York Yankees in the opener of a four- game series.
The Yankees were held to three singles by Darvish (9-4) and a trio of relievers. Darvish, who went on the DL earlier this month with a right trapezius strain, allowed two hits by Lyle Overbay, walked two and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings.
"The fact that he commanded the fastball for strikes, behind and ahead in the count is impressive," said Rangers catcher Geovany Soto.
The Rangers' rotation is about to get even stronger with the coveted Matt Garza bound for Arlington. Texas acquired the 29-year-old hurler from the Chicago Cubs on Monday in exchange for infielder Mike Olt and pitchers Justin Grimm and C.J. Edwards, along with a player to be named later.
Nelson Cruz belted a solo home run for the Rangers, who snapped a four-game losing streak with just their second win in nine contests.
Ivan Nova (4-3) gave up three two-out runs on seven hits and walked three over seven full frames in New York's fifth loss in six games.
Adrian Beltre knocked in a run in the first and Soto extended the Rangers' advantage in the sixth, with a stolen base involved both times.
Ian Kinsler led off with a walk and swiped second on a bang-bang play before scoring on a Beltre's single to center field. Soto doubled home Elvis Andrus, who drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position on another close play at second.
"Some of those calls, you'd like them to go your way, but sometimes they don't," said New York manager Joe Girardi.
The Yankees stranded two runners in the fifth and threatened again two innings later. An Overbay hit and a walk to Vernon Wells resulted in Darvish giving way to the bullpen. Robbie Ross relieved the Japanese right-hander and got Travis Hafner to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Cruz made it 3-0 with a shot to left-center field in the bottom of the seventh.
Joe Nathan pitched around an Ichiro Suzuki hit in the ninth to collect his 31st save.
New York second baseman Robinson Cano had his hitting streak snapped at 12 games ... Tanner Scheppers retired the Yankees in order in the eighth.