CLEVELAND — Ubaldo Jimenez pitched seven scoreless innings and the Cleveland Indians handed Yu Darvish his first major league loss in a 4-2 victory over the Texas Rangers today.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run double and Jason Kipnis homered off the Japanese star, who struck out a career-high 11 over six innings. Jimenez (3-2) walked four in the first three innings but settled down and permitted only two hits.
Darvish (4-1) signed a $56 million, six-year contract with Texas in January. The Rangers also bid nearly $52 million to gain negotiating rights to the 25-year-old right-hander, who was 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA in Japan.
Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his 11th consecutive save. He gave up one hit and was helped by a diving catch in right field by Shin-Soo Choo on a sinking liner by pinch-hitter Adrian Beltre.
The Indians took two of three from the two-time defending AL champions. Cleveland has won three straight series and leads the AL Central.
Jimenez was helped out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first inning when catcher Carlos Santana threw out Josh Hamilton trying to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt. Jimenez then struck out Michael Young with a runner on third.
In the third, Jimenez issued three straight two-out walks, but got out of it when Young grounded out.
Jimenez struck out six and walked five overall, using a good breaking ball to put away Texas hitters. He retired 10 in a row between a leadoff double by David Murphy in the fourth and a one-out walk to Mitch Moreland in the seventh. Jimenez finished off his day by striking out Yorvit Torrealba and Alberto Gonzalez.
Texas scored twice in the eighth off reliever Tony Sipp to get within 4-2.
Darvish had a little bad luck and fell behind 3-0 in the third.
Johnny Damon reached on a single when his infield popup fell safely as second baseman Ian Kinsler lost it in the sun. Darvish walked Kipnis, then Cabrera grounded a double inches inside the first-base bag, scoring both runners.
Darvish struck out Travis Hafner and Santana before Choo hit a grounder to the left side. Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus made a nice, backhand stop in the hole and a leaping throw to first, but sailed the ball into the stands. Choo got credit for a single, and the error scored Cabrera to make it 3-0.
Kipnis hit his fifth homer leading off the fifth, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. It was only the second homer allowed by Darvish.
Darvish gave up three earned runs and six hits, walking four.
NOTES: Andrus went 1 for 2 with two walks. He has hit safely in all 26 career games against Cleveland. ... Cabrera is hitting .385 (25 of 65) over his last 16 games. ... Texas' bullpen has a 1.62 ERA over its last 12 games. ... Beltre's three-run homer in the 11th inning Saturday was the first allowed by a Cleveland pitcher to a pinch-hitter in extra innings since Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson connected it for Baltimore off LHP Dave LaRoche on April 19, 1977. It was the first pinch-hit homer given up in extra innings by an Indians pitcher at home since RHP Frank Funk served one up to Kansas City's Leo Posada on June 12, 1961.