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TEX@NYM: Choo opens the game with a solo home run

NEW YORK -- Manager Ron Washington opted to play it safe on Thursday, scratching Yu Darvish from his scheduled start against the Orioles in rainy Baltimore and sending his prized right-hander to New York ahead of the rest of the team. The thinking was plenty rational, but ultimately, it didn't do Washington & Co. much good.

The Mets got to Darvish for four runs in just five innings en route to a 6-5 win, the Rangers' sixth straight loss and 14th in their last 16 games. The Rangers also dropped their 10th consecutive road decision, despite a first-inning homer from Shin-Soo Choo and Mets starter Jon Niese exiting with a lower-back contusion after recording just one out.

"It is something every day," Choo said. "One day the pitching is good and the offense isn't there. For many teams the hitting and the pitching are there at the same time. Right now nothing is happening together for us. I'm tired of it. Every day it is something."

New York catcher Travis d'Arnaud smacked a two-run double to right-center to snap a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning. That hit, which came off righty Jason Frasor, proved to be the game-winner.

The rough outing for Frasor, who has a 2.63 ERA on the season but 4.91 ERA in the last month, came two days after a blown save against the O's.

"Life is better with a changeup, but it hasn't been there this road trip," Frasor said. "It has been noncompetitive."

Darvish's command was touch-and-go. The Mets scored thrice in the first inning -- two runs coming on Lucas Duda's opposite-field long ball -- then again in the fourth, when Eric Campbell doubled to plate Duda. In Darvish's other three innings, he set the side down in order. He allowed five hits and two walks while striking out six. The four earned runs allowed tied his season high.

"I had difficulty making adjustments with the wind," Darvish said through an interpreter, "but I didn't feel bad at all."

One facet of Interleague Play was a factor for the Rangers in the sixth, when they had the potential tying run on first with two outs. Washington sent Carlos Pena to pinch-hit for Darvish, who was in the lineup with the game at a National League park. Pena walked, but Choo struck out to end the threat.

Had the game been at an American League stadium, Darvish would have started the sixth inning given that he was at just 94 pitches, according to Washington. It was the fourth time in 16 starts this season he threw fewer than 100.

Darvish did somewhat take advantage of his chances at the plate, though. He doubled to left-center in the fourth for the first extra-base hit of his career and the first from any Texas pitcher since Colby Lewis doubled on June 29, 2011.

The Mets opened the bottom of the fourth with a walk, double and a walk, but Washington downplayed the idea that Darvish's double took too much out of him and caused the wildness.

"He was a little erratic with his command right from the start, but you're not always going to put up zeros," Washington said. "There are times when you really have to pitch and keep your team in the game, and he did that."

Adrian Beltre's fifth-inning homer -- a bullet to straightaway center -- helped Texas chip away, but the team managed just two earned runs in 8 2/3 innings against the New York bullpen.

"They did an outstanding job," Mets manager Terry Collins said of his relievers. "Just an outstanding job tonight to have to get that many outs in that particular situation."

A lone bright spot for the Rangers was right-hander Neftali Feliz, who pitched two scoreless innings, with two walks, in what was just his 15th Major League game in the last three seasons. The former All-Star closer and AL Rookie of the Year has battled ineffectiveness since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012, but the Rangers called him up on Friday looking for a fresh arm.

"He got after it from the very first pitch he threw off that mound," Washington said, "and he stayed after it till we took him out. That was a good thing."

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