(Reuters) - The highly anticipated pitching duel between Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish failed to materialize as the Japanese ace’s Texas Rangers (27-14) eased to a 10-4 triumph over the Detroit Tigers (22-17) on Thursday.
Geovany Soto belted a three-run homer and Mitch Moreland had a pair of doubles and three RBI’s in the rout, as Darvish (7-1) claimed the win after a shaky start, throwing a career-high 130 pitches and giving up four runs.
Despite his early troubles, Darvish was streets ahead of Verlander (4-4), who was hammered for a career-high tying eight runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Elsewhere, Boston (24-17) came from behind to take down the Tampa Bay Rays (20-20) 4-3 after Will Middlebrooks doubled in three-runs in the ninth.
Leading 3-1 heading to the final inning, closer Fernando Rodney could not get the job done for the home side Rays as Middlebrooks found the gap at left center to bring the Red Sox within one game of the AL East-leading Yankees.
The Seattle Mariners (20-21) helped the Red Sox close on New York (25-16) with a 3-2 win at Yankee Stadium.
Michael Morse hammered his 10th home run of the season in the sixth inning to set up a 3-1 lead and six Mariners pitchers combined for the win.
Stephen Strasburg claimed his first win since his April 1 seasonal debut, throwing a career-long eight innings in his home town San Diego to help his Washington Nationals (22-19) to a 6-2 decision over the Padres (18-22).
Pittsburgh (24-17) won for the sixth time in seven games and third in a row with a healthy 7-1 triumph over the struggling Milwaukee Brewers (16-23).
San Francisco (24-17) rallied from 6-0 down to win 8-6 over Colorado (21-20), their 10th straight victory against the Rockies.
The New York Mets (15-23) snapped a six-game slide with an upset 5-2 win over the National League Central-leading St Louis Cardinals (26-14).
Cincinnati (25-16) completed a three game sweep with a 5-3 win in 10 innings over Miami (11-30) and the Chicago White Sox (18-21) won 5-4 against the Los Angeles Angels (15-26).
Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien