ARLINGTON, Texas - Justin Verlander flopped in his Texas showdown with Yu Darvish. The Japanese star was about to do the same until he settled down after the pitching duel fizzled.
Geovany Soto ended Verlander's night with a three-run homer that capped a seven-run third, and Darvish needed a career-high 130 pitches to get through eight innings in the Texas Rangers' 10-4 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
Darvish gave up a home run to Jhonny Peralta, the first batter he faced after the Texas outburst that sent a shell-shocked Verlander to the Detroit dugout in his shortest outing in nearly three years. The drive made it three straight games with two homers allowed for Darvish, and pulled Detroit to 8-4.
Then the right-hander retired 15 of the final 16 Tigers he faced, including 10 straight.
"The thing about Yu Darvish, he bends but he never breaks," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That's a tremendous lineup he went through. After that third inning, he settled in and found something that was working and he continued to pitch."
Soto's drive just over the wall in left field came after Verlander walked in two runs - he had three previous bases-loaded walks in his career. Mitch Moreland's two-out double broke a 3-all tie before Soto's drive put Texas ahead 8-3.
"It wasn't much of a night to begin with but I'd definitely say the whole game kind of carried over from my last start," said Verlander, who was coming off his worst outing of the year in a loss to Cleveland. "I'm not somebody who is going to go home and pout about this, I'm somebody who is going to figure it out and figure it out in a hurry."
Darvish (7-1) won his fifth straight decision despite allowing two home runs for the third start in a row. Baseball's strikeout leader matched his season low with six strikeouts, and didn't get the last one until Washington decided to bring him back out for the eighth.