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Friday, August 17, 2012
Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. J.A. Happ

By Ian Begley / ESPNNY.com

NEW YORK -- The Texas Rangers open up a three-game series in Toronto on Friday night. The game starts at 6:07 p.m. CT on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and can also be seen on TXA21. Here’s a look at the pitching matchup featuring RHP Yu Darvish vs. LHP J.A. Happ:

Darvish (12-8, 4.54): After celebrating his birthday Thursday, the 26-year-old righty will make his 23rd start of the season Friday. He's got the most wins (12) and strikeouts (162) among rookies. ... He also ranks among the AL leaders in wins (tied for 6th), strikeouts (4th), and opponent's average (.238, 10th). ... Darvish snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over the Tigers last Sunday. He allowed six hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking five. ... He is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 12 Ks in two starts against Toronto.

Happ: (8-10, 5.04 ERA): The 29-year-old lefty will be making his 21st start of the season. Happ is 3-3 with a 4.85 ERA in his last 10 starts. Over that span, he has 35 strikeouts and 14 walks. ... In his last start on Aug. 12, Happ got a win over the Yankees by allowing four runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 10-7 slugfest. ... He has pretty good control; Happ has walked 45 and hit just one batter in 121 1/3 innings. He has given up 130 hits. ... In one career appearance against the Rangers, Happ is 0-1 with a 16.87 ERA.

HITTERS: Darvish doesn't have an extensive history against anyone, but by and large, he's had success against Toronto hitters. There are three exceptions: Edwin Encarnacion is 4-for-5 with a homer and two RBI against Darvish. Colby Rasmus is 3-for-6 with a double and Brett Lawrie is 1-for-3 with a double and two walks. ... Though it's a small sample size, Texas hitters have beaten up on Happ to the tune of 10 hits in 17 at-bats. Adrian Beltre, Craig Gentry and Josh Hamilton are all 2-for-2 against Happ. Geovany Soto is 2-for-3.

UP NEXT

Sat. at Toronto: RHP Ryan Dempster (6-6, 3.12 ERA) vs. RHP Carlos Villanueva (6-3, 3.12 ERA), 12:07 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540AM/FSSW