A trip home and some extra rest got Yu Darvish back on track last time out. The Rangers hurler next tries to keep things headed in the right direction on the road as Texas tries for its first ever three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres.
Pitching for the first time in eight days on Friday versus the Astros, Darvish snapped a two-game slide and matched a career best with 11 strikeouts to fuel a 6-2 win. He hurled eight innings -- his longest outing since April 24 -- and scattered two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks.
The right-hander improved to 6-0 with a 3.15 earned run average in six starts at home and 8-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 13 overall outings.
"[Darvish] rocketed the strike zone," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He had a good fastball working tonight."
Darvish will next make the second interleague start of his career and will look for a solid outing away from the home crowd. Though he has a respectable 3.98 ERA in seven road outings, he has walked 30 batters over 40 2/3 innings while going 2-4. In 40 frames at home, the 25-year-old has walked just 16.
San Diego's offense will likely try to be patient with Darvish and hope that starter Anthony Bass doesn't put it in an early hole like he did last Friday in Oakland.
The struggling righty was charged with a season-high nine runs, seven of those earned which is also a season worst, on eight hits and three walks over 5 1/3 frames. Bass gave up five runs in the first and failed to pitch six full innings for a fifth straight start.
Bass is winless in his past six outings, going 0-3 with a 7.79 ERA, and is now 2-7 with a 4.88 ERA in 15 games this season, including 13 starts. The 24-year- old has never before faced the Rangers.
After notching a one-run victory in Monday's opener, the Rangers got big nights from Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton at the plate last night en route to a 7-3 triumph.
Beltre hit a solo homer as one of his three hits on the night and drove in two runs, while Hamilton started for the first time since an intestinal virus caused him to be hospitalized last Friday and stroked a two-run triple while scoring twice.
"It was cool to get back into the lineup and help the team be productive," said Hamilton, who had come in as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning on Monday. "It doesn't take much to spark our offense."
The offensive output helped starter Scott Feldman snap a six-start losing streak, though he did his part by allowing only two runs over six innings. Texas won its fifth straight game and for the eighth time in nine contests and owns a five-game edge over the Angels for first place in the American League West.
Edinson Volquez was charged for six runs on five hits and four walks with six strikeouts over five-plus innings in the setback. Yonder Alonso and Nick Hundley both plated a run, but the Padres lost for the fourth time in five games.
"Their guy got the ball over the plate and he mixed it up a little bit," said San Diego manager Bud Black about Feldman. "We just couldn't solve him."
The Padres had won seven of their past 10 versus the Rangers prior to this series and are hosting Texas for the first time since taking two of three during the 2001 campaign.