Rangers notes: Yu Darvish on verge of first winless month

Posted Saturday, Jun. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Yu Darvish hasn’t won in more than six weeks. It’s the longest winless drought of his career, and he’s in jeopardy of having his first winless month in his brief major-league career.

It’s hardly his fault, though. Darvish has gone 0-2 with a 2.93 ERA over his last seven outings, posting four quality starts. But the Rangers have won only once in those last seven starts, as the offense simply hasn’t provided much support.

“It doesn’t really weigh on my mind,” Darvish said through a translator. “There are some games I can shut them out and still not win the game. It’s something I cannot control and I have to pitch my game every inning that I pitch.”

Darvish had a rough outing his last start in New York on Tuesday, allowing a career-high three home runs and giving up a two-run lead. He showed obvious frustration on the mound, and manager Ron Washington said afterward that Darvish needed to make some adjustments.

Darvish met with pitching coach Mike Maddux about it, but didn’t reveal any potential adjustments he might make. He shot down the notion that he might have to use his fastball more.

“I don’t really have to,” Darvish said. “I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m going to keep making adjustments depending on the opponent.”

Darvish went on to talk about his chances of making the American League All-Star team a second consecutive season, saying the winless drought could make it more difficult. But he still leads the league — and majors — in strikeouts (143), is ninth in ERA (2.95) and 11th in wins (seven).

“It’ll be good either way,” Darvish said. “If I don’t get selected, I will be able to have some rest. If I get selected, I’ll be able to play with the greatest players in baseball.”

Holding their own

Martin Perez, Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm have pitched well of late, and the young trio at the back end of the Rangers’ rotation is doing its job.

In their last five starts — excluding Tepesch’s outing Saturday — they have gone 4-0 with a 2.78 ERA.

“They’ve executed some pitches,” Ron Washington said. “That’s what it takes. They’re staying out of the danger zone and making fewer mistakes. It’s as simple as that.

“They’re young, but they understand that’s not an excuse. If they’re going to be here, they’re going to have to help us. We’re not babysitting them.”

Injury updates

•  Reliever Joakim Soria, rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery, could join the Rangers by their next road trip. He is scheduled to make another rehab appearance at Triple A Round Rock on Sunday and then throw back-to-back days next week.

•  Jeff Baker, on the disabled list with a right thumb sprain, is hitting off a tee and doing batting drills. He said there is no timetable for his return, but he’ll likely need a few rehab games before being activated.

•  Alexi Ogando, on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to throw a 50-pitch bullpen session Sunday and could progress to live batting next.

•  Colby Lewis, recovering from flexor tendon surgery in his right elbow, will throw a 25-pitch bullpen session Sunday.

Briefly

•  Before Saturday’s game, actor Matthew McConaughey and Nelson Cruz took part in a celebration of the two-year partnership between the Rangers Baseball Foundation and the Just Keep Livin Foundation with participants from the foundation. It aims to give high school students an after-school program centered on nutrition, exercise and wellness.

•  Lance Berkman was out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game Saturday as he recovers from a sore right knee he injured while departing the team plane late Thursday. Berkman has started just twice in the last nine games.

•  Ron Washington didn’t know who would start at catcher Sunday with a day game following a night game. He planned to check with A.J. Pierzynski after Saturday’s game before making a determination.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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