Yu Darvish takes aim at win No. 10 this evening when the Texas Rangers continue a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
After losing three of four starts, Darvish has won his last two outings in impressive fashion to run his record to 9-4 on the year to go along with a 3.45 ERA. He beat the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, holding them to a pair of runs and five hits in eight innings.
Darvish also struck out eight and has fanned 19 batters in his last two starts.
"Mentally, physically, and mechanically, there was no difference from the beginning of the game to the end," Darvish said through his interpreter. "I think it was just going through the game ... getting into the rhythm of the game that allowed that."
Darvish beat the Tigers earlier in the year, as he surrendered a run and two hits in 6 1/3 frames. He did walk five in that outing, though.
Detroit will hand the ball to rookie left-hander Drew Smyly, who is 2-2 with a 3.96 ERA. Smyly hasn't pitched since receiving a no-decision back on June 10 in Cincinnati.
Smyly faced the Rangers back on April 22 and did not get a decision, but pitched well, yielding a run and five hits in seven innings. He also struck out seven in that one.
Miguel Cabrera busted out of a lengthy slump to lead the Tigers in Monday's opener. Mired in a 2-for-20 spell coming in, Cabrera smacked three hits, including a two-run double as part of a five-run top of the first inning, to go with three RBI and a run scored as Detroit cruised to an 8-2 win.
The 29-year-old is hitting a blistering .378 (74-for-196) with nine homers, 18 doubles and 50 RBI in 47 career games against Texas. His .378 average against the Rangers is tops among all active major leaguers.
Rick Porcello (5-5) fanned seven and surrendered a run on six hits and three walks over six innings for the Tigers, who have won six of their last nine.
Making his second career start, Justin Grimm (1-1) lasted one-plus inning, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk for Texas, which had prevailed in eight of its previous nine coming in.
"It's a humbling game. What can you do? You just bounce back for the next one," Grimm said about his outing.
Adrian Beltre registered three hits, while Josh Hamilton clubbed his 23rd homer of the year, a two-run shot in the seventh.
Texas took three of four from the Tigers earlier in the season.