Not only is Yu Darvish tied for the most victories among rookies, he's the only pitcher with at least three starts at home to win all of them.
The Japanese right-hander seeks to improve to 7-0 in Arlington when the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers continue a three-game set Tuesday night.Darvish (9-4, 3.45 ERA) can break a tie with Arizona's Wade Miley for the rookie lead in victories. There's a good chance he will do it since he's 6-0 with a 3.15 ERA in his first six home outings.He's seeking his second three-start win streak overall after striking out a combined 19 in consecutive eight-inning efforts. Darvish gave up two runs and five hits Wednesday in a 4-2 win at San Diego.This will be Darvish's second look at Detroit (36-37) after he gave up one run and a season-low two hits April 19 to earn a 10-3 victory.While Darvish is perfect at home, his opponent Tuesday -- fellow rookie Drew Smyly (2-2, 3.96) -- is unbeaten on the road. Smyly, an Arkansas native who lives nearby in Dallas, is 2-0 with a 3.89 ERA in seven starts away from Comerica Park."I have a lot of family and friends coming in," Smyly told the Tigers' official website. "I have a lot of friends that actually live in Dallas. They've got jobs here, so they're all coming. It should be fun."The left-hander hasn't pitched in the majors since leaving after three innings June 10 at Cincinnati with what manager Jim Leyland described as "the worst blister I've ever seen." He was placed on the disabled list four days later.Smyly, who says the blister has healed, allowed three runs over two innings with Triple-A Toledo on Thursday in a 7-4 loss to Lehigh Valley.He pitched well against Texas (45-29) on April 22, giving up one run over six innings in his third big league start -- a 3-2, 11-inning loss.Josh Hamilton went 3 for 3 with a homer off Smyly in that contest, and the Texas slugger -- who leads the majors with 66 RBIs -- is hoping to break out of a 2-for-16 slump. Hamilton ended an 11-game homerless drought in Monday's 8-2 loss, and he's 7 for 21 with three homers and seven RBIs in four games against Detroit this year.Hamilton's seventh-inning two-run shot Monday only helped the Rangers avoid a shutout. The outcome was no longer in doubt after the Tigers scored five runs in the first inning in their 10th win in 15 games."We came out swinging, put some runs on the board early," Leyland said.Detroit can reach .500 for the first time since it was 18-18 on May 15. The Tigers are in third place in the mediocre AL Central, just two games behind first-place Chicago.Miguel Cabrera went 3 for 4 with three RBIs Monday, raising his career regular-season average against Texas to .378 -- the highest among active players. He has nine homers, 18 doubles and 50 RBIs in 47 regular-season games against the Rangers and also went 8 for 20 with three homers in last year's AL championship series.Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre had three hits Monday, and he's 21 for 41 with three homers and 11 RBIs over his last 11 games.
Yu Darvish raced out of the gate dealing, winning 6 of his 1st 8 starts; however, it appears that opponents are figuring him out. His ERA is more than 4 points higher when facing a team for the 2nd time, a trend he will try to reverse against the Tigers tonight.