Yu Darvish will try to build up his American League Cy Young resume on Saturday night when the weekend set between the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox continues at U.S. Cellular Field.
Darvish boasts a 12-5 record with a stellar 2.68 ERA while allowing opposing batters to hit just .189 off him. He's also striking out batters at an incredible rate, as he leads the majors with 214 punchouts in 161 innings.
The 26-year-old right-hander was cruising along early in his last outing against the Mariners on Aug. 18, retiring 12 of the first 14 batters he faced, but he ended up allowing seven hits, four walks and three earned runs over 7 1/3 innings in the no-decision in a game the Rangers would eventually lose.
"In many games I have trouble with my command in any inning I throw, but today it happened after the sixth inning," Darvish said through a translator following his latest start.
Darvish defeated the White Sox back on April 30, allowing four earned runs in six innings of work while striking out nine.
Chicago will counter with Hector Santiago, who, over 29 outings this season (18 starts), has sported an impressive 3.27 ERA, although his record (4-7) does not support how well he's pitched.
Santiago is fresh off one of his best performances of the season, earning the win over Minnesota on Aug. 18 after allowing just one earned run in six innings of work. It was his first victory since June 21.
The southpaw has not pitched great at home this season, going just 1-3 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP at U.S. Cellular Field.
In the series opener on Friday night, an offensive explosion allowed the Rangers to make claim to an 11-5 victory.
Texas scored four runs in the top of the second inning and never looked back from there. The team belted five long balls on the evening, with Ian Kinsler circling the bases for an inside-the-park homer.
Adrian Beltre left the yard for his 27th homer of the season, as did Jeff Baker and Adam Rosales. Mitch Moreland added a pinch-hit blast in the 8th inning to give the Rangers an inside-the-park home run and a pinch-hit home run in the same game for the first time in franchise history.
With ample run support to work with, Martin Perez (7-3) earned the win, pitching seven innings while allowing four earned runs.
Chris Sale (9-12) also lasted seven innings but was roughed up along the way, allowing eight hits and eight earned runs.
Dayan Viciedo knocked in a two-run single in the bottom of the second and finished with two hits and two runs scored. Gordon Beckham also had two RBIs and Alejandro De Aza was 2-for-5 with a run scored.