"Huge turnaround," Rangers manager Ron Washington said after the game.
The Angels, trailing 5-2, had C.J. Cron at second and Collin Cowgill at first with one out in the second inning when the play occurred. Erick Aybar hit a slow roller to the left of the mound. Darvish scrambled to field it and flipped it backhanded to Adrian Beltre covering third base.
"Initially when I went after it, I knew the hitter was Aybar and he got a speedy start," Darvish said. "I knew the runner at second had a late start so I knew I had a chance at third base."
"I was just hoping he wasn't going to throw it to first," Washington said. "I didn't know how he was going to get it to third but he showed some athleticism."
The toss beat Cron but third-base umpire Lance Barrett ruled Beltre had come off the bag. Beltre immediately motioned to Washington to challenge the call. Washington did and the call was overturned.
"I saw he was out," Beltre said. "I knew I was off the bag because I had to watch for the throw. But once I caught the ball, I stepped on the bag and I saw him slide in. I was pretty sure he was going to be out unless they didn't find a good angle."
Darvish then struck out Mike Trout to end the inning.
"It was a pretty good play getting that out," Beltre said. "It changed the game. They were coming back. If they have Trout up there -- one of the best hitters in the game -- with the bases loaded and one out, I don't know what would have happened after that. But that was a big break for us."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.