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Grit Index: D-backs shut down by Darvish, Rangers

The Arizona Diamondbacks couldn’t solve Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish en route to a 7-1 loss in a makeup game in Arlington on Thursday night.

Darvish (10-5) had filthy stuff, tying a career-high with 14 punchouts. The right-hander tossed seven shutout innings and allowed just five hits and no walks for Texas. Darvish has recorded at least 10 strikeouts in a Major League-best eight games this season, and has reached the 14 strikeout mark four times on the year.

The Good:

The D-backs managed to avoid the shutout, plating a run on Martin Prado’s RBI single off reliever Joakim Soria in the ninth.

The Bad:

Zeke Spruill, who was making his first big league start for Arizona, was victimized by the longball. He surrendered three solo home runs to A.J. Pierzynski, Mitch Moreland and David Murphy. The right-hander struggled in his four innings of work, allowing five earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

Every hitter in the D-backs’ starting lineup struck out at least once against Darvish, except outfielder Cody Ross. Gerardo Parra and Paul Goldschmidt each fanned three times on the night.

Noted:

– Spruill was acquired in the blockbuster trade that sent Justin Upton and Chris Johnson to the Atlanta Braves this past offseason. The 23-year-old made his Major League debut in relief on June 21, 2013 against the Cincinnati Reds.

– Darvish struck out 10 of the first 13 D-backs’ hitters he faced.

– With the victory, the Rangers have now won four straight games.

– Catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, who became the 102nd Major League player from Arizona State University, went 1-for-3 with an eighth-inning single off of Texas reliever Nate Cotts in his big league debut.

Up Next:

The D-backs will travel to Boston to play the Red Sox in a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park. Right-hander Randall Delgado (3-3, 2.85) will start the opener for Arizona on Friday. He will be opposed by southpaw Jon Lester (10-6, 4.27) of the Red Sox. The game is scheduled to start at 4:10 p.m. MST and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.