Rangers prepare for Marlins with Darvish still on roster (Jul 25, 2017)

BY AP • July 25, 2017

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish may be staying put after all.

The Texas Rangers ace has been the subject of rampant speculation with the non-waiver trade deadline on the horizon, but a report from MLB.com on Monday indicated that Darvish likely isn't going anywhere.

While the report added that stance could change should the Rangers get blown away by a trade package or if the club falls out of wild-card contention in the next week, the preference is to keep Darvish and make a playoff push.

Darvish met with the media Monday before Texas' 4-0 loss to the Miami Marlins in the opener of the three-game interleague series. The second game is Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.

Darvish made it clear he wouldn't discuss any trade talk. Instead, he is focused on making a playoff run. He will be a free agent after the season.

"I know we are confident we are going to make it to the postseason," said Darvish, who is scheduled to start Wednesday in the series finale. "That's how we are playing."

Texas co-ace Cole Hamels (4-1, 3.78 ERA) will oppose Miami's Dan Straily (7-5, 3.49) in the second game of the series.

Hamels is coming off his first loss in 10 starts this season, getting knocked around by the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. The 33-year-old lefty gave up seven runs on nine hits, including three home runs, in 5 1/3 innings.

Despite the setback, Hamels has been the Rangers' most effective starter this month, going 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA. He had a scoreless streak of 24 innings end in the fourth against the Orioles.

Hamels is only 9-15 with a 3.39 ERA in 37 career starts against Miami, including 1-5 since 2013. Those are the most losses and starts for Hamels against any opponent.

Hamels figures to have his hands full with Giancarlo Stanton, who blasted two homers Monday. Stanton is tied for the major league lead with 32 home runs, and his 11 in July lead baseball.

He set the tone Monday with a two-run blast in the first.

"Punch 'em early, you know?" he said.

Straily is set to make his 21st start of the season. The 28-year-old righty is facing the Rangers for the third time this season after going 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in the previous two outings. He has yielded four runs in 12 innings against Texas, striking out eight and walking four.

Adrian Beltre looks to inch closer to his 3,000th hit after going 4-for-4 on Monday. The third baseman needs seven more hits to hit the plateau. The Rangers have eight games left on their homestand.

"I want to get it over with, obviously," Beltre said. "I really want to do it on this homestand. The fans deserve that, and I really want to do it in front of them."

Miami's Ichiro Suzuki was the last player to reach 3,000, doing it last season. His admiration for Beltre goes beyond their shared pursuit of the magical hit number.

"Obviously, he's getting close to this milestone, and people focus on his hitting," Suzuki said through his interpreter. "But I think he plays good defense. I think that's why he's been able to stick around as long as he has, because he does play good defense."

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