Dual first-inning challenges go Nationals’ way (Rangers win 2-0)

The Nationals are seeking their first series sweep since April 30 at Houston, facing off against Yu Darvish and the Rangers on Sunday.

Darvish has not pitched since May 22 at Detroit. He missed his last scheduled start against the Twins due to a stiff neck, but has gone at least seven innings in three consecutive starts.

Washington’s Tanner Roark is trying to break out of a two-game losing streak against the club that drafted him in 2008.

The game started with some quick controversy on a pair of rulings in the first inning.

The Rangers notched a pair of base hits and benefited from a Denard Span fielding error - his first in 201 games as a National - to place men at first and third with one out. After a strikeout, Alex Rios was caught stealing at second base when he overslid the bag. On the play, Elvis Andrus scored from third, the umpires ruling Andrus was safe before Rios was called out at second.

Texas challenged the ruling on the field that Rios was out at second. The Nationals challenged the ruling on the field that Andrus was safe at home plate.

The video replay review confirmed Rios was out at second base. Also, the video replay review overturned the call that the runner scored before the tag at second base. The game remains scoreless.

The Rangers lose their challenge for the game. The Nationals retain their challenge if needed for later in the game.

Update: Darvish is dealing. One pitch comes in at 59 mph, then another at 95 mph. Through four innings, he has allowed three hits, two by Span, no runs, one walk and has struck out eight batters.

Roark has kept pace. He has given up four hits, no runs, one walk and has struck out three.

No score through four innings.

Update II: Leonys Martin hit a solo shot off of Roark with one out in the seventh. Texas leads 1-0.

Roark was lifted in the bottom of the seventh for pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs. Roark went seven innings, allowed one run on seven hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. He threw 104 pitches, 67 for strikes.

Update III: Donnie Murphy with a run-scoring single in the eighth off of Drew Storen. The Rangers lead 2-0.

Update IV: Texas salvages the final game of the series 2-0.

The Nationals reached third base only two times the entire game and struck out 14 times.

Darvish was masterful. He went eight innings, allowed five hits and two walks, but no runs and struck out 12. His record improves to 5-2. It is the third time in his last four starts he has pitched at least eight innings.

Roark takes the loss to fall to 3-4, yet he only allowed one run.

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