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Darvish, A's differ on 'head games' delay

Donaldson not bothered by Texas ace uttering 'fastball,' throwing curve
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Rangers ace Yu Darvish and the A's have contrasting stories on what started a brief delay in the sixth inning of Saturday's game.

Darvish was caught on the broadcast uttering, "Fastball," on a 2-2 pitch to Josh Donaldson to lead off the inning, but threw a curveball. Despite Darvish's attempt to throw him off, Donaldson managed to get a single on the pitch.

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers ace Yu Darvish and the A's have contrasting stories on what started a brief delay in the sixth inning of Saturday's game.

Darvish was caught on the broadcast uttering, "Fastball," on a 2-2 pitch to Josh Donaldson to lead off the inning, but threw a curveball. Despite Darvish's attempt to throw him off, Donaldson managed to get a single on the pitch.

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"If he wants to do that, fine, it doesn't bother me," Donaldson told the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday. "I kind of like the head games."

Coco Crisp, however, wasn't pleased and began yelling from the dugout right before Jed Lowrie's at-bat. He had to be restrained from the dugout as play temporarily stopped. Crisp did not comment on the situation.

"I think there was a part in the game where there was a lot of excitement between both of us," Darvish said Saturday. "I heard a lot of people saying something from the Oakland dugout, I said to myself, 'It's just the heat of the moment, what's at stake?' I looked at it as maybe they were trying to make me lose my concentration. But I just understood that [and] I worked to maintain my focus and pitch my game."

Darvish and Donaldson also played mind games in the first inning. Donaldson swung threw a 90-mph cutter to bring the count full in an at-bat that started with three straight balls. Just before the sixth pitch, Donaldson stepped closer to the plate just as Darvish was set. He stepped off the rubber after Donaldson made the adjustment, then walked him on a 94-mph fastball. Donaldson scored on Brandon Moss' double to account for the only run in the game.

Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish, Josh Donaldson