ARLINGTON, Texas – After a grinding stretch when the Texas Rangers lost nine of their last 13 games, and the AL West crown in the process, manager Ron Washington gave his players the day off Thursday.
They get a chance to start fresh Friday. One chance — or the season will be over for the two-time defending American League champions long before another World Series.
The Rangers are home Friday night against Baltimore and former manager Buck Showalter in the winner-take-all AL wild card game.
Right-hander Yu Darvish makes his major league postseason debut for Texas against the only AL team he didn't face his rookie season.
Lefty Joe Saunders, a late-season acquisition by Baltimore, has lost all six of his previous starts at Rangers Ballpark with a 9.38 ERA.