Yu Darvish struck out 12 over eight innings, Leonys Martin broke open a scoreless duel with a homer in the seventh and the Texas Rangers beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 Sunday to avert a three-game sweep.
Pitching for the first time since May 22 after missing his last turn with a stiff neck, Darvish (5-2) gave up five hits and walked two in dropping his ERA to 2.08. The right-hander matched his season high in strikeouts and overpowered a team that amassed 19 runs in the first two games of the series.
Joakim Soria worked a perfect ninth to earn his 11th save and seal Texas' major league-leading 11th shutout.
Martin hit an 0-1 pitch from Tanner Roark (3-4) into the Washington bullpen beyond the right-field wall.