Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish is seeking to become the AL’s
first eight-game winner.
C.J. Wilson is hoping to stick around long enough this time for
a full matchup against the Japanese rookie.
These starters meet for the second time Saturday night as
Wilson’s Los Angeles Angels try to hand the visiting Rangers a
season-worst fourth straight defeat.
The first 2012 matchup between these AL West rivals May 11
pitted Darvish (7-2, 3.25 ERA) against Wilson (6-4, 2.77), making
his return to Arlington for his first start against his former
Wilson, however, was charged with a 10-3 loss after retiring one
batter and yielding four runs before a rain delay of nearly two
hours forced him out of the game. He made history the next night by
becoming the first pitcher to start in consecutive games since
Darvish took advantage of a six-run lead after one inning in
last month’s meeting, yielding three runs over 5 1-3 innings for
the victory. The right-hander, however, continues to struggle with
his control with 35 walks for the majors’ fourth-highest total –
issuing nine over nine innings in his last two outings.
Another offensive outburst by his teammates helped him win
Sunday against Toronto as he gave up three runs over five innings
in a 12-6 victory despite pitching with an upset stomach and a sore
“I’m not looking at it as an injury,” Darvish said through an
interpreter after the game. “I feel comfortable saying that I
should be able to treat this.”
Darvish is one win behind Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels and St.
Louis’ Lance Lynn for the major-league lead, with all three
Wilson, meanwhile, leads the AL in opponent batting average with
the majors’ third-best mark at .185. The left-hander has yielded
one run and three hits over 14 innings in two straight wins, giving
up the run in a six-inning stint Sunday in a 4-2 victory at
Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre each went 2 for 4 against him in
last month’s outings, with Hamilton homering. Beltre is 9 for 23 in
his career against Wilson.
Los Angeles (27-26) has won nine of 10 after Mike Trout led the
way in Friday’s 4-2 victory. Trout hit an RBI triple in the sixth
inning and a tiebreaking two-run single in the seventh, giving him
seven RBIs in his last four contests.
“He’s a good player – a real good player,” said Texas manager
Ron Washington about Trout. “He’s got speed, a little pop in that
bat, and he makes contact. He’s an exciting-looking little
Texas (31-21) has matched its longest slide of the year as it
seeks to avoid its worst since a five-game skid June 11-16,
Second baseman Ian Kinsler’s error in the seventh inning Friday
led to two unearned runs driven in by Trout as the Angels pulled
within 4 1/2 games of the first-place Rangers.
Hamilton had a double in four at-bats after he went 6 for 13
with three homers and six RBIs while the Rangers took two of three
from the Angels last month.