video thumbnail

TEX@TOR: Darvish fans nine, allows one run in seven

Japanese phenom Yu Darvish is slowly establishing himself as a pitcher to be feared in the American League, thanks to a 3-0 mark and 0.98 ERA in his last four starts.

But the Rangers right-hander isn't concerned about those games or numbers.

"I haven't been thinking about that, I'm thinking about my next start," Darvish said. "I'm looking ahead. I feel like I'm going to get better."

That next start comes on Sunday in the final game of a three-game set between the Rangers and Indians. He'll oppose struggling right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez in the series' rubber match after Texas won Saturday, 5-2, in 11 innings.

Jimenez is 2-2 with a 5.02 ERA, but those numbers don't paint the whole picture. On Tuesday in Chicago, he needed 105 pitches to get through 4 2/3 laborious innings. Jimenez's three starts before that saw him throw 113 pitches in six innings, 107 pitches in six innings and 112 pitches in five innings.

"I've been able to go out there without having my stuff, without having my mechanics, but I still fight out there," Jimenez said. "It's not like I've been a total mess. I probably should be better, but I've been fighting."

Jimenez blames his struggles on mechanics, noting his front shoulder "isn't bringing enough power" for his fastball to be effective.

For Texas manager Ron Washington, establishing a fastball is exactly what has made Darvish so good in his last four starts. Washington said because Darvish is throwing his heater for strikes, he is setting up his secondary pitches to perfectly keep hitters off-balance.

"My strength has been my ability to adjust to the opposing hitters each start," Darvish said.

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has a 25-game hitting streak against the Indians after notching a pair of knocks in Saturday's contest. It's the second longest hitting streak by a player against one opponent in Rangers history. Ivan Rodriguez had a 27-game hitting streak against Tampa Bay from 1998 to 2000.

Rangers: Beltre close to full-time duties
A strained left hamstring has kept Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre out of the starting lineup for four straight games, but it didn't stop him from hitting a go-ahead, pinch-hit home run in the 11th inning on Saturday.

He may be available to start a day after taking ground balls and doing sprints in the outfield before Saturday's contest. Beltre was removed after the home run and didn't play defense in the bottom of the 11th.

"I certainly liked what I saw," Washington said before Saturday's game. "He's getting there. If he's not in there [Sunday], I'm hoping for Monday. The good thing is Adrian is pacing himself. I don't have to fight him on this. He's managing it. I just want him to feel confident he's getting there."

• The three-game losing streak that the Rangers snapped with their win on Saturday marked the only time they've lost consecutive games this season.

• Andrus has reached base in 23 straight games, and should he reach base on Sunday, the 24-game streak would be the longest of his career.

Indians: McAllister gets call for twin bill
Righty Zach McAllister is set to make his season debut for the Indians on Monday, as part of a day-night doubleheader against the White Sox. Manager Manny Acta said it's likely McAllister will start the first game.

"He's thrown the ball well," Acta said. "His last outing was very good. He's keeping his fastball down and maintaining his velocity that he showed in Spring Training. His secondary pitches are coming around."

McAllister is 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Columbus. Because of a new rule that allows an extra player to be added for doubleheaders, the Indians won't have to clear room on the roster for McAllister.

• Cleveland has homered seven times in the last five games, with seven different players hitting the long balls.

• Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is hitting .420 over his last 13 games. He extended his hitting streak to nine games on Saturday.

Worth noting
• In eight at-bats against Jimenez, Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba has three hits, including a pair of doubles. Torrealba will start on Sunday, marking the second time he has caught Darvish.

• The Rangers are hitting .326 with runners in scoring position on the road this season.

MLB.com Comments