HOUSTON -- When Yu Darvish is struggling, he's often his own worst enemy on the mound.
The Texas Rangers ace had shaky command early against the Houston Astros on Saturday evening at Minute Maid Park and it hurt him.
The Rangers dropped their seventh straight to Houston, 8-3. The loss clinched a third straight series win for Houston over Texas.
Darvish's struggles were evident from the first batter he faced as Robbie Grossman worked a 10-pitch walk and moved to second on a wild pitch.
After getting Jason Castro looking at a breaking ball for the first out, Darvish walked Chris Carter on four pitches.
He recovered to strike out Marc Krauss, but singles by Jon Singleton and Matt Dominguez gave the Astros a 2-0 lead after a 31-pitch first inning.
Although Darvish recovered adequately the next three innings, his fate was sealed as his pitch count mounted. He threw 24 more pitches in the third despite facing only four batters.
He walked Singleton before striking out the final two batters to end the inning, but he had run his pitch count to 73 through three innings.
By the fifth inning, Darvish was spent and the Astros pounced. The first five hitters reached, including a two-run double by Singleton and a run-scoring single by Dominguez to knock Darvish from the game.
The four-inning stint is Darvish's shortest outing since going 3 1/3 on April 28. He also had a 4 1/3-inning, rain-shortened game last month at New York.
Darvish (10-7) struck out seven and walked four Saturday. He was charged with five earned runs.
Scott Feldman, who pitched with the Rangers for eight seasons, held Texas to three hits through the first five innings. He retired eight in a row until Elvis Andrus led off the sixth with a single.
Andrus was called out for runner's interference on Daniel Robertson's grounder to second when he ran into Astros second baseman Gregorio Petit.
Later, with two outs, Jim Adduci's first career home run pulled the Rangers to within 6-2.
The Astros added runs in the bottom of the sixth and in the eighth.
Shin-Soo Choo collected a season-high four hits, the last coming in the ninth inning, the 1,000th of his career.
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