Friday, April 19, 2013
Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Joe Saunders
By Todd Wills
The Rangers begin a short three-game homestand against Seattle beginning Friday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Right-hander Yu Darvish faces Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. on Ch. 21 and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.
Darvish (2-1, 2.75): Darvish allowed three first-inning runs then had four shutout innings as he lost to the Mariners 3-1 last week ... Darvish gets an extra days' rest for Friday's start ... He hasn't pitched past the sixth inning after coming within an out of a perfect game at Houston on April 2 ... Darvish has 28 strikeouts and five walks and has allowed just 10 hits in 19 2/3 innings this season ... No team has given him more trouble than the Mariners ... He is 2-3 with a 6.21 ERA for five career starts ... While his control has improved, he has 17 walks and four hit batters in 29 innings against Seattle .... He has averaged six innings per start against Seattle while pitching an average of seven innings against the rest of the league ... Darvish has been better against the Mariners at home with a 2-0 record and a 4.26 ERA.
Saunders (1-1, 1.08): Saunders has pitched well to begin the season, making his most recent start against the Rangers and getting a no decision after not allowing an earned run in seven innings ... The 31-year-old lefty picked up his win April 8 against Houston with six shutout innings ... Saunders is a former first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels ... He pitched last season for Arizona and Baltimore ... He was a late-season acquisition for the Orioles and he beat the Rangers in the American League Wildcard game as Baltimore defeated Texas 5-1 ... Saunders had a 1.54 ERA for two postseason starts in 2012 ... He is 79-66 with a 4.62 ERA and 672 strikeouts in 192 starts for his career ... Saunders has turned things around against the Rangers, but he still has a 3-7 record and 5.79 ERA for 12 starts against Texas.
Hitters: Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager (5-for-13, 3 2Bs, 7 RBIs) has more doubles and RBIs against Darvish than any other player in the Major Leagues. Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler (10-for-27, 4 HRs, 8 RBIs) and right fielder Nelson Cruz (7-for-23, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs) had home runs Thursday in a 6-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.