Mired in the longest drought of his young career, Darvish makes his second straight start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night in Arlington.
Darvish (7-2, 2.75 ERA) is 0-1 in four starts since he went 5-0 with a 3.07 ERA over six outings from April 19-May 16. However, the second-year product from Japan has a 2.28 ERA during the winless streak while striking out 32.
"It hasn't really affected me that much," said Darvish, whose previous longest stretch between wins was three starts from July 27-Aug. 6. "I think I've done my job. Wins and losses you can't really control."
His Texas teammates have totaled 10 runs while going 1-3 during that stretch.
"A couple of them, he had to battle. A couple of them, he was crisp," said manager Ron Washington about Darvish, who was given a 9.05 run support average through his first nine starts.
"More than anything, it was us not scoring runs. ... We score some runs for him, he could have a couple of more wins. He's thrown well enough to continue to win ballgames."
Darvish allowed three runs in the third inning and struck out seven while pitching the first seven of a 4-3, 18-inning loss at Toronto on Saturday. He is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays (28-36), who have dropped three in a row and six of eight at Texas.
The Rangers (38-27), however, have lost two in a row and five of seven. They're coming off a pair of 5-2 losses to Cleveland.
With three hits in Wednesday's defeat, Texas rookie shortstop Jurickson Profar went 5 for 9 in the three-game set against the Indians after going 2 for 16 with seven strikeouts as the Rangers lost two of three at Toronto.
One of those hits came against Esmil Rogers (1-2, 3.60), who makes his third start of the season a day later than expected. Toronto's decisive finale at Chicago on Wednesday was postponed due to the threat of severe weather.
The right-hander, who made 23 appearances out of the bullpen, has a 1.23 ERA without a decision in two starts. He allowed a run and three hits in four innings while striking out six in a 6-1 win over the Rangers on Friday.
"He's part of our five-man rotation now, so we'll just keep everyone in line," manager John Gibbons told the Blue Jays' official website after the postponement.
"I got already in my mind how I'm going to pitch these guys, how I'm pitching already," he said. "This team is an aggressive team, I have to have all my pitches ready."
Rogers' teammate, Jose Bautista , has three homers in two games this week and is batting .381 in the last four. His solo shot with two outs in the ninth tied the game and paved the way for a 7-5, 10-inning win over the White Sox on Tuesday.
Bautista, however, is 0 for 9 with three strikeouts versus Darvish.
Adam Lind is 3 for 5 against him and hitting .457 in his last 17 contests.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||15-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|June 02, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow|
|June 01, 2013||Brandon Morrow||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||15-Day DL||Left ankle sprain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||Day-to-Day||Ankle sprain|
|May 19, 2013||Darren Oliver||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|June 07, 2013||Nelson Cruz||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 07, 2013||Michael Kirkman||60-Day DL||Cutaneous lymphoma in right triceps|
|June 06, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 06, 2013||Mitch Moreland||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|June 05, 2013||Mitch Moreland||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left hamstring|
|June 01, 2013||Adrian Beltre||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring tightness|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Esmil Rogers is turning into quite a starter for the Toronto Blue Jays.
In his third start after opening the season as a reliever for the Blue Jays, the right-hander was as good as Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish in a 3-1 victory Thursday night.
Both starters allowed only one run over seven innings, and the Blue Jays got the tiebreaking hit in the eighth when Edwin Encarnacion had a two-run double.
"He was tremendous, he really was. You could kind of see that building," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Rogers. "He's really taken to it."
And the Blue Jays could have easily skipped Rogers (2-2), who was supposed to start Wednesday night's game at the Chicago White Sox that was postponed because of inclement weather. Instead, they just pushed back the entire rotation.
"They give me that confidence," Rogers said. "Yesterday after the game, we sat down at my locker and they talked to me, that I'd pitch tomorrow. I just went back to my room and thought about how I pitched the last time I pitched against the Rangers and let me go on the attack."
Casey Janssen worked a perfect ninth for his 14th save.
The slumping Rangers wasted another solid outing by Darvish, who has made five consecutive starts without a victory.
"I'm not amazed," Darvish said through his interpreter. "This is baseball. Anything can happen."
Darvish allowed only three hits and walked two, but threw 110 pitches to get through seven innings.
Since his last victory May 16 against Detroit, Darvish lost 1-0 to Oakland and has now gone four games in a row without getting a decision. The right-hander has a 2.08 ERA with 41 strikeouts in those 34 2-3 innings over those five games, but the Rangers have scored only seven runs for him in that same span - and four of those runs came in the same game.
"Some games you get a lot of run support. Others you don't," he said. "I'm not really surprised by it."
Nelson Cruz homered for the Rangers (38-28), who have lost three in a row at home. They have dropped eight of 12 overall, falling out of first place in the AL West and two games behind Oakland.
The Athletics (41-27), who play four games in Texas next week, have won 21 of their last 26 games. They capped a three-game series sweep of the New York Yankees with a 3-2 win in 18 innings earlier Thursday.
Neal Cotts (2-1) replaced Darvish to start the eighth, when Emilio Bonifacio reached on a throwing error by Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre . Munenori Kawasaki had a sac bunt before Tanner Scheppers , the second reliever, walked Jose Bautista before the double to left-center by Encarnacion broke the 1-all tie.
"Yeah, big hit," Gibbons said. "Jose's big at-bat before that and (Bonifacio) getting it started and a nice sac bunt, we played well."
Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin made a diving attempt to catch the game-deciding hit. He was fully extended when the ball went under his glove.
Martin sprained his left wrist after his gloved hand rolled awkwardly when he hit the ground. The Rangers said X-rays were negative, and said he was day to day with a mild sprain.
"Just hurts a little bit, but I don't think it's too serious," Martin said through a translator. "I had to run a lot and unfortunately, it was a great hit and I didn't get it."
After Cruz homered in the second, Toronto got even in the third, when Bonifacio had a leadoff single.
Bonifacio then stole second, sliding headfirst with his hand stretched out to the base just ahead of the tag. Manager Ron Washington came out to discuss the call with second-base umpire Paul Schrieber - television replays showed the ump got the call right. Bonifacio scored on a single by Melky Cabrera .
Darvish retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced after that, including the last 10.
Rogers also retired 10 in a row around the same stretch, a streak that ended when Cruz had a two-out single in the seventh. But Rogers quickly got the third out and had thrown his last pitch when the Blue Jays went ahead.
He had pitched 3 1-3 innings his first start, and then allow one run in four innings against the Rangers last weekend.
"I'm awful proud to get the opportunity," Rogers said. "It doesn't matter where I'm going to be, I'm going to do my best everywhere."
Notes: Blue Jays manager John Gibbons , a former Mets player and minor league manager, was named Thursday as one of the AL coaches for the All-Star game next month at Citi Field in New York. ... Toronto had double plays to end each of the first two innings, including right fielder Bautista doubling off Chris McGuiness at first base in the second.