Yanks' win streak ends at 4 as Darvish outpitches Kuroda

Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish, of Japan, delivers to

Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish, of Japan, delivers to the New York Yankees in the fourth inning of a baseball game. (April 24, 2012) (Credit: AP)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Yankees looked at Yu Darvish as hard as anyone the last few years, their scouts and talent evaluators almost universally sending, and coming back with, rave reviews.

Ultimately, with their new fiscal restraint -- and having been burned by past Japanese stars such as Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa -- the Yankees didn't come close to the winning $51.7-million posting fee the Rangers did this offseason.

Darvish showed some good and some bad his first three starts this year, but was flat out brilliant in his fourth Tuesday night, honoring much of the hype that has surrounded him as he outpitched his countryman Hiroki Kuroda in a 2-0 victory over the Yankees in front of 47,085 at Rangers Ballpark.

"You hear a lot of guys get hyped and he was everything that you'd heard," said Mark Teixeira, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. "Can't say enough. He pitched really well tonight."

The 25-year-old Darvish, hearing a drawn out "Yuuuuu" after each of his 81/3 innings, scattered seven hits and held the Yankees to 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, using an array of pitches.

"He had a fastball, two-seamer, cutter, four-seamer, curveball, slider, change, split," said Derek Jeter, who nonetheless stayed hot, going 2-for-4 with a double. "He's got pretty much everything. And he pitched ahead in the count most of the game."

The righthander, pulled with one out in the ninth after allowing a Nick Swisher single, struck out 10 and walked two. Joe Nathan induced a double-play grounder from Raul IbaƱez for his fifth save.

It was the first time the Rangers (14-4) shut out the Yankees (10-7) -- who saw their four-game winning streak end -- since Aug. 16, 2000, when Brian Sikorski and Mike Venafro combined to do it.

Tuesday night, it was pretty much all Darvish (3-0, 2.42).

"He was throwing everything and he didn't miss," said Robinson Cano, who went 2-for-4.

Asked if Darvish compared with anyone he'd seen previously, Cano shook his head.

"Somebody with that many pitches?" he said. "Nobody."

Nick Swisher called it "the kitchen sink."

"Sinker, cutter, split, change, breaking ball," he said of what he saw in his at-bats. "Saw 'em all."

The Yankees' best chance was in the third when they loaded the bases with none out, but Darvish got out of it by striking out Curtis Granderson and getting Alex Rodriguez to hit into a double play.

In Japan, the game took on event status as it was just the seventh time two Japanese-born pitchers squared off in a major-league game. A huge Japanese media contingent was on hand here and both pitchers proved up to the task.

Kuroda, other than allowing a first-inning home run by Ian Kinsler and a third-inning run-scoring single by Josh Hamilton, was outstanding against one of the game's best lineups, having what Joe Girardi said was the best splitter he's had all season. Kuroda allowed two runs, five hits and two walks in 62/3 innings, striking out five.

"The toughest thing for us is we wasted a good start," Teixeira said.

Said catcher Russell Martin: "I told him, we can do that all year long and we'll be just fine."

Kuroda said he expected it to be a low-scoring game and, like everyone else, came away impressed with Darvish.

"If you keep putting zeroes up on the board with the lineup we have, obviously, he's a great pitcher," Kuroda said.

Jeter said his pitcher deserved credit, as well.

"He did outstanding," Jeter said. "He pitched extremely well. It's too bad we couldn't score any runs for him."

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