ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Texas Rangers send ace Yu Darvish to the mound Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Rays' left-hander Matt Moore in the final game of a four-game series at Tropicana Field. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Deportes 1540 AM.
Darvish (12-9, 2.79): Darvish has lost two straight 1-0 games and a record four this season, but you already know that. His latest came in a 1-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, a start in which Darvish allowed a first-inning run and that was it. Darvish needs to throw 6 1/3 innings to reach 200 innings for the first time in his career. He is winless in his past six starts, his last victory coming Aug. 12 at Houston, when he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Since then, Darvish has flirted with a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins and lost 1-0 games to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland on the Rangers' recent homestand. He leads the majors with 256 strikeouts. Darvish had 10 strikeouts against the A's, giving him 12 starts with double-digit strikeouts this season. He has had seven consecutive starts of two runs or less of run support while going five-plus innings, the first pitcher in franchise history to suffer that fate. Darvish faced Tampa Bay twice last season and was 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA, allowing one run in 15 innings.
Moore (15-3, 3.11): Moore would probably be in the AL Cy Young conversation if not for a sore elbow that cost him six starts. He opened the season with an 8-0 record, including a 2-0 victory over Derek Holland and the Rangers on April 10 in Arlington. Moore missed all of August and returned Sept. 3 and has made three starts since coming off the disabled list. He went only three innings in his most recent start in Minnesota because of rain. He allowed one hit, didn't give up any runs and had five strikeouts and three walks. Moore has allowed one run in 15 2/3 innings in his three September starts. He is 7-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 10 starts at Tropicana Field this season.
Hitters: The current Rangers are batting .094 against Moore. He has 15 strikeouts in 32-bats. Sam Fuld is 3-for-6 with an RBI against Darvish.