Darvish 4 consecutive starts without win for Texas
Even with a 2.28 ERA and 32 strikeouts added to his major league-leading total his last four starts, the ace from Japan doesn't have a victory during that span. It is Darvish's longest stretch in the majors without winning a game.
"It hasn't really affected me that much," Darvish said through his translator. "I think I've done my job. Wins and losses you can't really control."
Darvish (7-2) gets back on the mound Thursday night in the opener of a four-game home series against Toronto. It will be his second consecutive start against the Blue Jays -- he gave up three runs, all on one play, while pitching the first seven innings of the Rangers' 18-inning loss Saturday in Toronto.
Since his last victory May 16, Darvish had a 1-0 loss to Oakland and then three consecutive games without getting a decision.
"A couple of them, he had to battle. A couple of them, he was crisp," manager Ron Washington said. "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."
The Rangers have totaled 10 runs in Darvish's last four games. They averaged nearly 7½ runs per game during his first nine starts when he went 7-1.
Darvish struck out 14 in the second game of a Memorial Day doubleheader at Arizona, but allowed a tying home run in the eighth inning, and the Diamondbacks scored off a reliever in the ninth for a 5-4 victory. Then on June 2 at home against Kansas City, he gave up only three hits over seven scoreless innings and left with a 1-0 lead that the bullpen squandered before the Rangers won.
"There are some games that you give up five runs and you still win, and there's games you give up only one run and you still lose," Darvish said. "So those things you can't really control. But I try to go deep in the game, and keep the team in the game, give them a chance to win."
Darvish has done that in his 13 starts, with opponents hitting only .182 against him -- matching Detroit's Max Scherzer for the lowest in the majors. Darvish leads the majors with 118 strikeouts in 88 1-3 innings.
The last win for Darvish was a 10-4 victory over Detroit in a much-anticipated matchup of aces that didn't live up to the hype.
Justin Verlander was gone after giving up seven runs in the third inning that night. Darvish needed a career-high 130 pitches to get through eight innings.
What the Rangers couldn't have expected then was that Darvish would pitch so well over the next four games without winning.
"No, not at all," Washington said. "But that just goes to show you, you can't predict the game."
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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