Yu Darvish looking forward to facing Angels

BALTIMORE -- Yu Darvish joked that the media forced an answer out of him about facing the Los Angeles Angels and going up against C.J. Wilson, the former Texas Rangers pitcher that Darvish essentially replaced this offseason. But the Japanese star did admit he was ready to pitch against the Angels in front of a sellout crowd Friday night.

"Obviously, C.J. Wilson is a very good pitcher in this league and I have high respect for him and the team and I am looking forward to pitching against them," Darvish said through interpreter Joe Furukawa.

Darvish is coming off his fourth straight quality start, though his command wasn't quite as sharp as it was in his two previous starts before that one against the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees. Darvish gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits in six innings with 11 strikeouts and four walks in a loss to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

Darvish has continued his normal routine between starts as he prepares for Albert Pujols and the Angels.

"I'm still going to prepare for that start like I always do and see the video and during the game I'll make adjustments and go from there," Darvish said.

Darvish called Josh Hamilton's four-homer night "amazing" and said he's glad Hamilton is on his team.

"I've seen some big games and big performances by players, but regarding hitters, this was the top," Darvish said.