(Reuters) - The Texas offense made it an easy day for starting pitcher Yu Darvish as the Rangers crushed the Toronto Blue Jays 12-6 on Sunday.
The American League-leading Rangers (30-18) surged for seven runs in the second inning and grabbed a 9-1 advantage by the third to take the pressure off their Japanese ace.
Darvish, who was coming off a sloppy performance against Seattle last week, allowed three runs over five innings to push his record to 7-2.
”The rookie was not at his best, walking three batters and allowing a home run, but he did not need to be as he grinded through a performance in 91-degree (32.8 C) heat.
“I was able to pitch without the heat affecting me,” Darvish told reporters. “My body physically hasn’t been feeling well since Seattle. That has been nagging me.”
On Saturday, Texas slugger Josh Hamilton needed IV fluids to get through in similar conditions, though he still managed to blast a walk-off game-winning homer in the 13th inning.
He finished hit-less on Sunday but his team mates rose to the occasion.
Ian Kinsler led the charge with four RBIs, Mike Napoli went 2-for-3 with a home run and three runs scored and the Rangers crushed losing Toronto starter Kyle Drabek for nine runs over three innings.
J.P. Arencibia hit two home runs and the Blue Jays (24-24) scored three runs in the final two innings but still lost their fifth successive game as they went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
“I think (Darvish) got away with one today,” said Blue Jays power-hitter Jose Bautista. “It could have been a lot worse for him.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury