Darvish 5 Ks in final tuneup before Rangers debut
Yu Darvish has finally pitched in Texas.
Next time it counts.
Darvish struck out five over four scoreless innings in his final tuneup before his anticipated major league debut, helping the Rangers beat Double-A Frisco 6-1 on Wednesday.
''I was able to accomplish everything,'' Darvish said about his first spring training with Texas. ''I feel very good about where I am right now.''
After going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in four Cactus League starts in Arizona, Darvish walked two and allowed a pair of singles against the RoughRiders. One hit was a broken-bat blooper and the other a slow roller up the middle just out of the reach of shortstop Elvis Andrus.
The Rangers committed more than $107 million over the winter to sign the 25-year-old Darvish, who was 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA in 167 games the past seven seasons in Japan's Pacific League.
Next up for Darvish is his scheduled start Monday night at Rangers Ballpark, about 40 miles from Frisco. The right-hander will face the Seattle Mariners in the fourth game of the regular season for the two-time defending American League champions.
''I think I just want to stay where I am. Even opening day in Japan, I try not to get overly excited,'' Darvish said through his translator. ''The way I feel right now, I'm going to prepare the next four days like I've been preparing for another start. I try not to get too overly excited.''
Texas opens the season at home Friday against the Chicago White Sox.
The Rangers held Darvish to 60 pitches in his final spring start, the same range as the rest of their starters. He got close to 100 pitches in a six-inning stint with 11 strikeouts against Colorado on Friday night, and said the number of pitches he's thrown this spring is ''adequate'' for him.
Darvish struck out the first two batters he faced Wednesday, even after going to a 3-0 count on leadoff hitter Jurickson Profar, one of the Rangers' top prospects. The two singles came from consecutive batters with two outs in the second inning.
''I saw five pitches for strikes, I saw changing speeds, locating that fastball effectively,'' pitching coach Mike Maddux said. ''He had some guys, sequenced them where it was just more than they could handle. I don't think it's because of the level. I think that will play at any level, the stuff he throws up there.''
Texas general manager Jon Daniels said early this week that Darvish's performance this spring indicates the scouting reports the team had before signing him to a six-year deal were accurate.
''He did exactly what you're supposed to do when you come to spring training, each time you take the ball get better, and he did,'' manager Ron Washington said Wednesday.
''I think he had to make the biggest adjustment, getting used to a different type of clubhouse, getting used to a different climate in the way we do things over here. And he did an excellent job of doing that,'' he said. ''He fit in perfectly and I'm looking forward to him giving us some good outings when the season starts.''
Ian Kinsler drew a four-pitch walk off Tim Murphy to start the game and came home on a double by Josh Hamilton. Michael Young's RBI single made it 2-0.
Young hit .423 in 19 Cactus League games before the Rangers broke camp Sunday, but had no homers and only three RBIs in 52 at-bats in Arizona. He had a pair of RBI doubles in a 13-4 exhibition victory at home Tuesday night against the Mexico City Red Devils.
Craig Gentry, who made the roster despite struggling this spring, finished 2 for 3 with an RBI triple. He also had a sacrifice that was followed by a successful squeeze play by Jose Felix for a run in the second inning.
NOTES: RHP Neftali Feliz, the closer-turned-starter for the Rangers, is scheduled to throw a simulated game Thursday morning. He is set to start Tuesday against Seattle. ... RF Nelson Cruz didn't play because of a bruised left elbow sustained when he got hit by a pitch Tuesday night. Washington said he got treatment Wednesday and should be ready for Friday's season opener. ... Rangers RHP Mike Adams, who was struck on the right calf by a comebacker Tuesday night, also is expected to be ready for the opener.