Updates with new lead and quotes.
Atlanta Braves infielder Ryan Flaherty is starting on Friday against the Chicago Cubs. After a walk, a single and a walk to Sanchez, Darvish was pulled. Friday's loss marked the third time in 13 games the Cubs have been shut out and have only scored one run in their past two games. Tucker delivered the big blow in the fifth when he drove a long homer to right.
"The big thing with him", manager Joe Maddon said before Friday's game, "is I see him gain a rhythm during the game - I'd like to see him get into that rhythm sooner". The Braves went on to score all of the runs in that inning while knocking Darvish out of the game.
Orioles starter Alex Cobb labored against the Red Sox, giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits and a walk in only 3 2/3 innings.
He did a nice job of pitching out of trouble through four innings. With the win, Atlanta moves to 8-5 and 3 games back in the East from the first place Mets. And the Cubs lost again after dropping two of three to the surging Pittsburgh Pirates. He has a 1.29 ERA through two starts and three appearances after signing a minor league deal in mid-March.
The game was canceled due to "inclement weather throughout the day".
"Look around this room", he said.
Darvish exited after the ninth Braves batter of the inning, and he admitted that the balk call hurt.
That it did. The fifth-inning balk preceded this ugly string: wild pitch, single, double, scorched home run by Preston Tucker, walk, bunt single, walk.
The fateful inning for Darvish and the Cubs was the fifth, which Darvish did not finish. Brian Duensing then retired Ender Inciarte on a bouncer to the pitcher.
"The umpire told me it's because I paused during the motion", Darvish said through a translator.
The balk in question was one that, in most cases, isn't called any other time. - Darvish on the balk.
Braves manager Brian Snitker also was anxious about his players. He left Wednesday's start at Triple-A Gwinnett after injuring his arm.
Kris Bryant, who played first base and handled some tough chances, surely wishes Rizzo would come back ASAP.
Said Maddon: "We're working with Willson on downshifting the throw a bit ..." CF Albert Almora was scratched because of an illness. Happ said his 5-for-32 start was the small sample size, adding: "Just wait until the end of the year".
Making his Wrigley Field debut in a Cubs uniform, Darvish threw just 61 strikes to 44 balls, appearing to lose his composure in his final frame.