MLB GAME RECAP

Rangers’ Darvish improves to 7-0 against Tigers

Sports Xchange

May 21, 2017 at 9:03 pm.

May 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Mike Napoli (5) hits a home run in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

May 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Mike Napoli (5) hits a home run in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — Mike Napoli and Pete Kozma each hit solo home runs Sunday night to help Yu Darvish maintain his perfect record against Detroit as the Texas Rangers defeated the Tigers 5-2 for their 11th win in 12 games.

Darvish (5-2) has made seven career starts against Detroit and won all of them, although he struggled with control in this one. The right-hander walked four and exited after throwing 105 pitches in just five innings. He allowed two runs on five hits and fanned seven, most of them on sliders away.

Alex Claudio went 1 1/3 scoreless innings, Sam Dyson tossed 1 2/3 shutout innings, and Keone Kela pitched a perfect ninth for his second career save and first of the year.

Detroit’s Matthew Boyd (2-4) gave up a dozen hits, including both Texas home runs, in 5 1/3 innings with no walks and three strikeouts.

Napoli broke a 2-2 tie with one out in the fifth when he launched his 10th home run into the camera well in dead center field, some 440 feet from home plate.

Kozma gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead with his first home run since April 2, 2013, for St. Louis at Arizona, a high fly to left with one out in the sixth.

Texas tacked on a run in the ninth off reliever Blaine Hardy on an RBI double by Lucroy, his second RBI of the game.

Miguel Cabrera’s two-out line single to center following two walks gained Detroit a 2-2 tie in the second, but Darvish kept the Tigers at bay despite a lack of command that produced a high pitch count.

Nomar Mazara tripled with one out in the second and scored on Robinson Chirinos’ single to right center, giving Texas a 2-1 edge.

The Rangers struck first with a run in the first. Elvis Andrus singled to short with one out, moved up on a groundout to first and scored on a single to right-center by Jonathan Lucroy.

Ian Kinsler began the bottom of the first with his fourth homer of the season, but the Tigers couldn’t add on with the bases loaded and no outs.

A strikeout, forceout at home and flyout to right ended the threat after Kinsler tied Curtis Granderson for sixth all-time with the 42nd leadoff home run of his career.

NOTES: DH Victor Martinez comes off the paternity leave Monday when Detroit begins a four-game series in Houston. That shifts Miguel Cabrera back to first and means Alex Avila returns to pinch-hitting and catching part time. … Texas 3B Adrian Beltre (strained right calf) reported no ill effects Sunday from an extensive but moderate workout Saturday as he moves toward a goal of returning to the active roster in early June. … Tigers 3B Nick Castellanos hit sixth during the weekend against Texas but may drop to seventh Monday when Victor Martinez returns. … Rangers RHP Tyson Ross is scheduled for a 75-pitch rehab start Tuesday for Triple-A Round Rock, which could be his last before returning to the majors after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery last season.