Darvish strikes out 12 batters amid trade rumors

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Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish may be wearing a new uniform very soon but it was all business in MLB on Friday.

Darvish struck out 12 batters while allowing three runs in eight innings in a 4-3, 10-inning win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 30-year-old's name started circulating as a possible Chicago Cubs on Friday, and the four-time All Star proved why against Tampa.

Darvish's 12-strikeout performance was his 32nd career 10-strikeout game, moving him past Hideo Nomo for the most by a Japanese-born pitcher in MLB history.

While the Rangers ultimately won thanks to an Elvis Andrus infield single, they are still 18 games behind the Houston Astros in the American League (AL) West.

Texas are not often associated with selling, but they at least seem intrigued by trading Darvish.

The July 31 trade deadline is inching closer. Moves made from now until then could shape the rest of the season, and Darvish's whereabouts could play a large part in dictating which team wins it all.

 

FRIDAY'S RESULTS

St Louis Cardinals 11-4 Chicago Cubs      
Houston Astros 8-7 Baltimore Orioles
Texas Rangers 4-3 Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays 3-13 Cleveland Indians
Chicago White Sox 6-7 Kansas City Royals
Washington Nationals 5-6 Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Yankees 5-1 Seattle Mariners
San Diego Padres 12-9 San Francisco Giants
Milwaukee Brewers 1-6 Philadelphia Phillies
Oakland Athletics 5-7 New York Mets
Miami Marlins 3-1 Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers 6-3 Minnesota Twins
Pittsburgh Pirates 13-5 Colorado Rockies
Boston Red Sox 6-2 Los Angeles Angels
Atlanta Braves 12-3 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

GURRIEL LIFTS ASTROS

Astros first baseman Yuri Gurriel collected four hits with a home run and two RBIs against the Orioles. Starting pitcher Mike Fiers allowed just one run off six hits in seven innings, while striking out nine batters.

Indians slugger Edwin Encarnacion went three for four with a home run, four RBIs, two runs scored and a walk against the Blue Jays. Encarnacion's home run gave him at least one long ball against all 30 MLB teams.

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto went two for four with two home runs and four RBIs.

 

CUBS' RELIEF PITCHERS STRUGGLE

Trying to win their seventh straight game, the Cubs had a 3-2 lead entering the eighth inning against the Cardinals. Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm gave up a combined nine runs in the top of the eighth inning, all of which came before the Cardinals even recorded an out. 

 

ARIZONA STORM OUT OF THE BLOCKS

The Diamondbacks became just the fifth MLB team to start a game with three straight home runs.

 

ASTROS AT ORIOLES

Houston are linked with a number of starting pitchers as they try to go all-in on a World Series berth this season. The young Astros team score plenty of runs, but they lack rotational depth. Aside from being entertaining, the Astros will be one to watch off the diamond, too, as a potentially active buyer ahead of their game against the Orioles on Saturday.