That may be difficult if the offense repeats its most recent performance.
Darvish seeks his first victory in three starts as Texas concludes this three-game series with the visiting Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
The Rangers won eight of Darvish's first nine starts with him posting a 1.65 ERA in the initial five. He has a 4.10 ERA in six outings since, though, and Texas (34-21) has dropped his last two starts.
Darvish (7-2, 3.03 ERA) struck out 14 for the third time this season while giving up four runs in 7 2-3 innings Monday, but the Rangers fell 5-4 at Arizona.
He's the first since Arizona's Randy Johnson in 2004 to have at least three starts with at least 14 strikeouts in a single season, though it's an accomplishment he would have rather achieved in a victory."Baseball's not a competition about getting strikeouts," Darvish said. "It's about winning."
Darvish will be pitching on five days' rest and said he's ready for a long outing.
"If I have four days rest, I think I can throw 130 (pitches), but if I have five days of rest, I can throw 150," Darvish told the team's official website.
The right-hander faced the Royals once last season, allowing three runs and striking out six in seven innings of an 8-4 victory Sept. 3. The Rangers hope to provide that type of run support this time around after mustering only six hits in a 4-1, 10-inning loss Saturday.
Their only run came on a fourth-inning RBI single from Mitch Moreland , who is 3 for his last 16.
Texas' offense looks to get back on track against Ervin Santana , who has struggled lately and hasn't had much success versus the Rangers.
Santana (3-5, 3.33) has lost four straight starts while posting a 4.72 ERA after going 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA in his first six outings. He's received only eight runs of support in his current rough stretch, though, and allowed four runs in 7 1-3 innings of Tuesday's 4-1 loss to St. Louis.
"We were just a matter of a hit away from probably winning every one of his starts," manager Ned Yost told the team's official website. "He's the one guy that ... hasn't gotten much run support. You can't really try to figure out how he's throwing based on his win-loss record."
The right-hander made 27 starts versus the Rangers during his days with the Los Angeles Angels and has a 7.47 ERA in 16 career outings in Arlington. He's 2-5 with an 8.06 ERA in his last eight overall starts against them.
The Royals (23-30), though, have won two of three following an eight-game losing streak, scoring three runs in the 10th inning Saturday. Eric Hosmer had three hits and scored on George Kottaras ' two-run double in the final frame.
David Lough was hit on the wrist with a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead run."I had the X-rays and a lot of strength came back in my arm after that," Lough said. "I'm glad we got the win more than anything."
The Royals have won three of the last four road games versus the Rangers.
|Kansas City Royals|
|May 16, 2013||Jarrod Dyson||15-Day DL||Right ankle sprain|
|March 31, 2013||Danny Duffy||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|February 12, 2013||Felipe Paulino||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|May 18, 2013||Ian Kinsler||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|May 16, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 20, 2013||Nick Tepesch||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm bruise|
|April 11, 2013||Justin Miller||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Jurickson Profar sprinted around the bases with a big smile after putting the Rangers ahead for good.
Maybe the only person happier than the 20-year-old rookie was his veteran manager.
Profar hit a tiebreaking home run with two outs in the eighth inning Sunday, lifting the Texas Rangers over the Kansas City Royals 3-1 on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Profar connected off J.C. Gutierrez (0-1) for his second homer, a solo shot that put Texas ahead 2-1.
Manager Ron Washington was the first to greet Profar in the dugout. With a big grin of his own, Washington snagged the batting helmet off Profar's head before he was mobbed by teammates.
"What I get a kick out of is he's not afraid of baseball," Washington said. "Opportunities like today are what that young kid lives for. No one in the ballpark expected that. But he gave us a lift right there. He rose to the occasion."
Profar was recalled from the minors to replace injured second baseman Ian Kinsler on May 19.
The top prospect is hitting .324 and hit his second homer in 10 games this season.
"I was just trying to get on base," Profar said. "I guess I did a little better there."
David Murphy added an RBI single later in the inning to make it 3-1.
Tanner Scheppers (4-0) got two outs in the eighth and Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances.
Yu Darvish allowed three hits, walked two and struck out six as he left with a 1-0 lead after seven innings.
After the game, Darvish said he felt fatigued after throwing 99 pitches. Washington added Darvish told him he was out of gas and didn't want the Japanese ace to fight through another inning.
Neal Cotts replaced Darvish to start the eighth.
"Any time I throw more than seven innings, I always feel fatigued after that," Darvish said through an interpreter. "So it was nothing special today."
Alex Gordon doubled in the Kansas City eighth and scored on a grounder to make it 1-all.
The Rangers only had three singles coming into the eighth.
Gutierrez retired the first two batters of the inning before Profar came up to the plate. He lined a 1-2 pitch into the seats in right.
Elvis Andrus was on deck and joked about Profar's speed rounding the bases.
"That was really quick," Andrus said. "He's going to hit plenty of homers in his career so he needs to work on that. He's fun to watch."
Rangers center fielder Craig Gentry threw out Billy Butler at home trying to score early as first-place Texas won for the third time in four games.
The Rangers were without All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre , who didn't play because of a strained left hamstring. Washington said Beltre may be back in the lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox.
Andrus wasn't in the original starting lineup as he's been hampered by a sore back in the past week. The shortstop, however, said he felt good when he woke up and convinced Washington he was ready to play.
Kansas City starter Ervin Santana allowed an unearned run and three singles in seven innings. The right-hander had lost his past four starts coming in.
The Royals haven't scored more than four runs in a game since May 21 and have lost 10 of 12. Kansas City, which brought on Hall of Famer George Brett as interim hitting coach Thursday, scored only seven runs in dropping two of three to Texas.
"We were right there," Butler said. "We were one pitch away, one hit away at every point in that game. It's very frustrating."
Santana didn't allow a hit until Nelson Cruz singled with one out in the fourth.
Gordon, who snapped an 0-for-14 rut earlier in the game, led off the eighth with a broken-bat double against Cotts. Alcides Escobar had a sacrifice bunt that moved Gordon to third.
Eric Hosmer hit a chopper to Jeff Baker , who played third base in place of Beltre. Baker's throw home was wild and Gordon scored easily to tie the game.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the second, Jeff Francoeur hit a liner to center and Gentry made a running catch. Gentry made a perfect throw to home plate and catcher Geovany Soto just got the tag on a sliding Butler.
NOTES: Rangers RHP Alexi Ogando will come off the disabled list and is scheduled to start Wednesday at Boston. Ogando (4-2) has been sidelined since May 16 with right biceps tendinitis. ... Kansas City OF David Lough did not play a day after getting hit on the right wrist by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning Saturday. X-rays on the wrist were negative. ... Brett and Rangers executive Nolan Ryan exchanged lineup cards before the game with umpire Dale Scott, who was behind home plate for the pair's final game on Oct. 3, 1993. Brett went 1 for 4 that day, Ryan was injured and didn't play.