Arlington, TX – Yu Darvish fanned 10 batters over seven innings and Joe Nathan equaled a Texas Rangers record with his 25th straight save by fanning the side in the ninth inning in a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Darvish (13-9), who was skipped in his scheduled turn Thursday versus Minnesota due to a tight right quadriceps muscle, looked sharp in his return as he surrendered six hits.
Mike Adams gave up a single to Sam Fuld in the eighth inning. Fuld stole second, and with two outs Ben Zobrist sent a hard grounder that was destined for the right field line, but first baseman Mitch Moreland made a diving stop and raced to the bag for the final out.
Nathan struck out Luke Scott, Carlos Pena and Ryan Roberts in succession for his 27th save of the year. He's retired 14 consecutive batters. His 25 straight saves ties the mark by John Wetteland July 25, 1997 - May 20, 1998.
Ian Kinsler homered to left field off James Shields leading off the fourth inning, as the AL West leaders won for the sixth time in seven games.
Shields (12-8) gave up three hits and fanned eight over seven innings, but had a four-decision winning streak broken.
Fuld had three hits for the playoff-contending Rays, who lost their fourth in a row. They went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
"We gotta get better, we gotta be able to win those games," Shields said. "We gotta get better towards the end of the game there and try to scratch some more runs and pitch better. It's frustrating."
The Rays had a pair of runners in scoring position in the second inning with nobody out, but Pena, Roberts and Jose Lobaton couldn't come through. The visitors had the bases full in the fourth, but Lobaton grounded into an inning-ending double play.
"He was outstanding, he really was, especially after the second, got into the third and he began to execute his pitches," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Darvish. "I think he showed what he's made of."
Rays right fielder Matt Joyce left the game with a strained left forearm...Over the last 18 games beginning Aug. 11, Texas relievers have a 0.86 ERA (4 earned runs, 42 innings) with 47 strikeouts ... Washington has 504 career wins and needs two more to tie Johnny Oates for second-most in team history behind only Bobby Valentine (581) ... By winning this three-game set, the Rangers moved to 11-1-1 in their last 13 home series.