ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The New York Yankees stumbled into Texas in the wee hours of the morning, fresh off a late-night 11-inning loss in Boston.
With the way Texas ace Yu Darvish pitched in his first game after a long break, it probably wouldn't have mattered if the Yankees were fully refreshed.
Darvish allowed only two singles over 6 1-3 scoreless innings and combined with three relievers on a three-hitter in a 3-0 win over the Yankees on Monday night.
``It's something we have to deal with, so we got to find a way to do that,'' said Lyle Overbay, who had both hits off Darvish. ``Tonight, I don't know if any of those had an effect on us, it was more Darvish was on his game.''
New York didn't have a hit until Overbay led off the fifth with a bloop single into short left field out of the reach of third baseman Adrian Beltre. The Yankees didn't have another hit until Overbay lined a single to right in the seventh, just before Vernon Wells walked and Darvish came out of the game.
``It seemed like he located really well,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ``His fastball, our guys were talking about it, he was giving us first-pitch fastball, but it was all on the corner or down in the zone, he wasn't giving them a whole lot to swing at.''
Darvish (9-4), who last pitched July 6 before going on the disabled list with a right trapezius strain, struck out four and walked two. The All-Star right-hander left after allowing consecutive batters to reach in the seventh, having thrown 60 of 90 pitches for strikes.
The Yankees went on without Alex Rodriguez, who had initially expected to return to make his season debut in Texas this week. But Rodriguez sustained a strained left quadriceps late in his rehab from offseason hip surgery. He's expected to be back in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday for more treatment.
With A-Rod still out, there had to be some concern for New York in the third when third baseman Luis Cruz, after making an over-the-shoulder grab running into short left field, jammed his left knee into the ground. There was a huge divot taken out of the grass and Cruz remained down for several minutes while being tended to by a trainer. He eventually got up and stayed in the game.
Ivan Nova (4-3) struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches over seven innings against the Rangers, who had lost seven of eight.
``I don't really like it, even though it was only three runs,'' Nova said. ``I didn't throw enough strikes. I couldn't really command my curveball, my fastball was off. I don't even have enough feeling for my changeup. I don't really like how it went.''
Texas had reliever Robbie Ross warming up while batting in the sixth. But Darvish came out to start the seventh, and appeared surprised when manager Ron Washington came out of the dugout to make the pitching change.
``He was a little bit earlier than I thought, but I had about 15 days with a break and I think Wash was thinking about my body and how I felt, so I really appreciated what he's done,'' Darvish said through an interpreter.
Ross got Travis Hafner, the only batter he faced, to ground into an inning-ending double play. Tanner Scheppers worked a perfect eighth.
The Yankees could have to face the newest Texas ace before leaving town.
Right before Monday night's game, the Rangers announced they had acquired Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs. He likely will start Wednesday night.
``Last few years when we get pitchers like him we go to the World Series,'' said Nelson Cruz, who homered. ``So that's good news.''
Cruz's 23rd homer was a 412-foot solo shot in the seventh that landed in the Yankees' bullpen in left-center field and made it 3-0.
The Rangers led for good after Ian Kinsler drew a leadoff walk in the first, stole second base and scored on Beltre's single - the first run they've scored in the first inning in 11 games. In the sixth, Elvis Andrus had a walk and a stolen base before Geovany Soto doubled.
NOTES: Yankees OF Curtis Granderson, expected back early next month from a broken pinkie, got three at_bats in his first simulated game in Tampa and continued running the bases. Granderson said he feels like it's ``at the spring training point again'' where preseason games are just a few days away. His status will be evaluated after simulated games Tuesday and Wednesday. ... C Francisco Cervelli, sidelined by right wrist and elbow injuries, did on-field defensive drills and expects to soon start taking batting practice in an indoor cage in Tampa, while INF Jayson Nix (strained right hamstring) got six at_bats in his latest simulated game, but did not run the bases.