video thumbnail

CLE@TEX: Darvish strikes out eight over seven innings

The Rangers have not had a good homestand, but at least they will be able to close it out with Yu Darvish on the mound Wednesday against the Marlins. Darvish is 5-1 with a 2.20 ERA in his last six starts.

The Marlins weren't quite sure who would oppose him, but they have decided on right-hander Jacob Turner for the finale of the two-game Interleague series. A big start by Turner opposite Darvish would put Miami in position to capture a Major League-record 14th straight Interleague win.

Due to an off-day on Monday, the Marlins could have gone with Texas native Nathan Eovaldi. The righty's wife is expecting their first child, and the plan now is to have the delivery on Sunday, unless nature calls beforehand. Eovaldi, barring a late change, will start on Friday at home against the Pirates.

Turner picked up his first big league win on the road in his last start, beating the Rays at Tropicana Field. Now he faces the Rangers for the first time in his career, and he'll do it in their own ballpark. That has been trouble in the past for young pitchers, although not lately.

"You don't try pitching any differently," Turner said. "I wouldn't try to pitch any differently at home, and it's a big ballpark. You just have to execute. By executing the game plan, it takes the ballpark factor out of it, if you execute."

Darvish could present a bigger challenge for the Marlins' young offense, which came to Texas leading the National League in strikeouts. This is the first time the righty has pitched against Miami.

"We'll have our work cut out for us," manager Mike Redmond said. "He just has that ability to make guys miss. He throws some offspeed pitches that just seem to float out of the zone. He's been pretty productive. He's one of the best in this game. We'll definitely have a challenge out there."

Darvish can be tough on National League teams who don't get to see him or his vast array of pitches very often. Darvish is 5-1 with a 1.55 ERA in seven career Interleague starts. That's the sixth-lowest ERA by a pitcher with at least five starts since Interleague Play began in 1997. His 12.55 strikeouts per nine innings is the third most.

"When we're playing a National League team on the road, obviously the ninth hitter is a pitcher, so that's an advantage for me," Darvish said. "But I don't know about the numbers when we're playing against a National League team here at home."

Marlins: McGehee paces NL third basemen in RBIs
The way the Marlins see it, Giancarlo Stanton can hit the home runs as long as Casey McGehee keeps driving in runs. McGehee is an unassuming, yet productive cleanup hitter. Although he has just one home run, he paces all NL third basemen in RBIs with 39.

Because Stanton is such a threat, teams have pitched around the Miami slugger. Rather than trying to match the power Stanton provides, McGehee focuses on production.

"He understands they're going to pitch around Giancarlo," Redmond said. "He wants to drive those runs in. I don't know what it is, but you just find a way to shorten up your swing."

Seattle's Kyle Seager also has 39 RBIs, and the only third basemen with more is Oakland's Josh Donaldson (50). Those two are American Leaguers who have racked up some of those numbers off Rangers pitchers.

Rangers: Odor back in the lineup
The Rangers are over their scare with second baseman Rougned Odor, and he was back in the lineup on Tuesday night after missing one game with a sprained right shoulder. Odor had to come out of Sunday's game in the fifth inning when he sprained the shoulder on a pickoff play, but he has been able to take batting practice without any problems.

Odor said he has had this injury before, and it doesn't bother him for very long. The Rangers remain leery of every injury, and sprains give them as much concern as anything. Shin-Soo Choo has been dealing with a sprained left ankle since April 21, and it's likely he will be dealing with it the entire season. The Rangers are hoping that won't be the case with Odor.

"It might be an issue we have to deal with from time to time," manager Ron Washington said.

Worth noting
• Miami reliever A.J. Ramos, who is from Lubbock, Texas, and attended Texas Tech, threw a scoreless eighth inning to set up the Marlins' 8-5 win in front of more than 100 family members and friends on hand Tuesday night. Texas Tech is in the College World Series for the first time.

• Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on the seven-day concussion disabled list, was cleared to do baseball activities Tuesday. He took 25 swings from the right and left side, played catch and rode the stationary bike. Before being reinstated, Saltalamacchia is expected to play in a couple of Minor League games and won't get a chance to play against his former team in Texas.

• Outfielder Alex Rios is the only Rangers player to have ever faced Turner, and he is 2-for-3 off him. Only three Marlins have faced Darvish, with Saltalamacchia, Jeff Mathis and Garrett Jones a combined 0-for-8 against the ace.

MLB.com Comments