Rangers belt four HRs to back confident Yu
Why wouldn't it be? The right-hander put the finishing touches on a superb spring with four scoreless innings of one-hit ball in the Rangers' 12-1 shelling of the Mexico City Red Devils Thursday night at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Ian Kinsler, David Murphy, Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland hit home runs, part of a 19-hit attack, as the Rangers celebrated their return to Texas after their longest-ever Spring Training.
Darvish wrapped up his spring by giving up just a lone single that floated into center field leading off the fourth. He struck out seven and walked none.
This was Darvish's fifth start of the spring. Although Thursday night's numbers don't count in Cactus League stats, Darvish unofficially posted a 1.52 ERA in 17 2/3 spring innings. Opposing hitters hit a paltry .138 against him. He struck out 22 and walked just three.
"I feel ready [for the regular season]," Darvish said through an interpreter after his outing. "I felt that way after the last outing that I threw.
"There's a big difference between this year and last year [in my confidence]. I'm much more relaxed."
Darvish is scheduled to start the Rangers' second game of the season at Houston Tuesday night.
"I see a more relaxed Darvish," manager Ron Washington said. "I think the success he had down the stretch last year helped him realize he just needs to bring what's working well [during his warmup] and not try to throw everything at everybody.
"Tonight he was outstanding. He had zip on his fastball and a nice cutter and sinker. He really pounded the zone."
The Rangers nicked Red Devils' starter David Reyes for a first-inning run after Elvis Andrus reached on a hit-by-pitch, Lance Berkman singled and Adrian Beltre hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field.
Kinsler, who had three hits, special-delivered his two-out, two-run homer just inside the left-field foul pole in the second.
An inning later it was Murphy's turn to go deep. He deposited the first pitch he saw from Reyes into the lower Home Run Porch in right field following a one-out single by Beltre.
That was just a prelude to the real fireworks in a six-run fifth. Cruz lined a three-run homer onto Greene's Hill beyond the center-field fence, Moreland belted a solo shot into the Rangers' bullpen in right center, and Andrus and Berkman added RBI singles.
Mexico City scored its only run on a solo homer by former Major Leaguer Ben Broussard off reliever Joe Ortiz in the seventh.