Once Yu Darvish settled down after the second inning, the San Diego Padres didn't have a chance.
Darvish held San Diego to five hits over eight innings and got his first major league hit to help the Texas Rangers beat the Padres 4-2 on Wednesday for their sixth straight win.
Darvish (9-4), who struck out eight and walked three, leads all big league rookies with nine victories. He pitched for Japan at Petco Park in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
''He just couldn't find his rhythm to get the ball where he wanted to,'' manager Ron Washington said of Darvish, who allowed a two-run single to Padres starter Anthony Bass in the second inning. ''He just kept emphasizing what he needed to do. After the second inning, when they scored those runs, he finally did it. Once he found it, he was on from there on. He just began to pound the strike zone. The sixth, seventh and eighth innings were innings that a good pitcher shows you he's not going to be denied. Once we took the lead, it was over.''
Yorvit Torrealba, who was with the Padres in 2010, drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the sixth to bring in Josh Hamilton with the go-ahead run. The Rangers swept the three-game series and improved to 12-3 in interleague play, the best in the majors this year.
''I asked the interpreter to tell the pitching coach, Mike Maddux, and Wash, I think it was somewhere around maybe after the third inning, I know my pitch count is up a little bit, but please don't base me getting taken out just on pitch count,'' Darvish said through an interpreter. ''I can throw into the seventh, eighth still, it's no problem. But if you guys feel like it's the right situation to take me out, or maybe my approach or the substance of my pitching is not good, then that's fine. I have no problem with that.''
Washington had reliever Mike Adams warming up in the eighth just in case, but Darvish finished the inning.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances.