Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish will start Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Ron Washington said.
Darvish threw an 86-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday and felt well the day after. He hasn’t faced hitters since March 16, as he was scratched from a minor-league start on March 21 with neck stiffness.
Darvish was the expected Opening Day starter but has been on a delayed plan since then. He finished runner up in the American League Cy Young vote last season.
So the Rangers rotation vs. the Rays will be lefty Joe Saunders, righty rookie Nick Martinez and then Darvish. Tanner Scheppers, Martin Perez and Robbie Ross are slated to start the three-game series at Boston.
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The Rangers have not made a decision on what Colby Lewis’ next step would be. Lewis threw 93 pitches in an exhibition game for Double A Frisco against Triple A Round Rock on Tuesday.