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Saturday, March 31, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Yu Darvish gets win

By Richard Durrett



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish got a quality start Friday, giving up three runs on six hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts. He struck out Carlos Gonzalez (2010 NL batting champ) and Troy Tulowitzki (started in All-Star Game in 2011) three times each.

He had hiccups in the second and sixth innings, but for the most part dominated hitters and was impressive. He threw 98 pitches and certainly looks like he's ready for the season to start.

More on Darvish's outing shortly.

Two-out hit: Yorvit Torrealba, the designated hitter Friday, stroked a two-strike pitch to left field for a double. With left fielder Carlos Gonzalez shaded toward center, not only did Michael Young score from second, but Mitch Moreland came around from first to give Texas a 2-0 lead. Torrealba had talked in recent days about wanting to get his swing in a better groove. A solid two-strike approach will certainly help that.

Streaker: Michael Young's second-inning single means he's reached safely in 15 straight games via a hit or walk. He has hit safely in 14 of the last 15 Cactus League games and is 20-for-41 with five doubles, five walks, nine runs and three RBIs.

Failed bunt: Elvis Andrus was asked to bunt Ian Kinsler to third with no outs in the third inning and couldn't do it, fouling off two pitches. One was right where he'd like it, Andrus just didn't execute. Manager Ron Washington shook his head, and when Andrus lined out to first, the skipper asked him to come over and had a brief chat with him. Washington said before the game that he wants to see execution and won't hesitate to talk to players about it if they don't do it. He did it with Julio Borbon on Wednesday night and Andrus on Friday. BTW, the next two batters got out and Kinsler never did score.

Couple of hits: Mitch Moreland, who has been hitting the ball better the last week, had two solid singles to center in his first two at-bats. Moreland got ahead in the count both times and took advantage. He was hitting .269 (14-for-52) coming into the game and said he isn't even thinking about his wrist anymore.

Hamilton delivers: Josh Hamilton still doesn't have a Cactus League home run, but he crushed a ball to straightaway center in the fifth with two runners on. The double scored Kinsler and Andrus to give the Rangers the lead. He left after the seventh inning with a tight left groin and is listed as day-to-day.

Ross shines: Robbie Ross pitched two scoreless innings after Darvish's outing. He gave up two hits and Washington said the second inning was even better than the first. Ross hit 91-to-94 mph with his fastball.