- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Darvish (6-2, 3.05): The rookie is coming off his worst start for the Rangers, having allowed five runs on four hits and six walks in four innings to take the loss against the Mariners. He still ranks among American League winners in wins (6, tied first) and strikeouts (63, tied fifth). He also ranks fifth in walks with 32. … The 25-year-old Japanese phenom is 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, but this will be his first day start in the Texas heat. … Darvish beat the Blue Jays on April 30 in Toronto with a dominant performance. He struck out nine in seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks. He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of 27 batters that he faced.
Drabek (4-4, 3.27): The 24-year-old Drabek, the son of former major league pitcher Doug Drabek, is a former first-round pick who was acquired in the Roy Halladay deal. … Drabek’s biggest problem is command. He is tied for third in the AL with 34 walks allowed in his 52 1/3 innings. He has walked at least four in five in his last seven starts. … Drabek has been especially hard to hit in his last two starts. He gave up only six hits in 13 innings in wins over the Rays and Yankees. … Drabek is 1-3 with a 4.73 ERA on the road. … He has been at his best with runners in scoring position, holding opponents to a .149 average in those situations. … Drabek was the losing pitcher in Darvish’s win over the Blue Jays, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks in six innings.
Hitters: The current Rangers are 9-for-42 against Drabek with a home run by Yorvit Torrealba. He has been especially tough on Texas’ lefties. David Murphy is 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and Mitch Moreland 0-for-4 with a strikeout against Drabek. Elvis Andrus is 3-for-6 with a double against him. … Edwin Encarnacion is 2-for-2 with a homer against Darvish. The rest of the Blue Jays are 2-for-22 against him. Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson are both 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.