Buzz: Yu Darvish working on command

SAN DIEGO -- Yu Darvish showed improved command in his last start, something the Texas Rangers hope he can carry over to Wednesday when he faces the San Diego Padres.

Darvish tied a season low with two walks in his eight innings against the Houston Astros on Friday.

“The feel of the ball, the way it’s coming out feels good right now,” Darvish said through an interpreter. “I feel confident I can continue on this track.”

Darvish was “erratic” in his previous four starts, Rangers manager Ron Washington said. Darvish issued 18 walks in 21 innings during those starts.

“Velocity was good,” Washington said. “I don’t know what caused it. Speaking to him and listening to what he had to say, it was mechanics. He worked on his mechanics. The key right now is that he keeps throwing strikes and he trust his fastball. He’s got three different ones.”

Darvish will face the Padres for the first time in his major league career, though he threw two scoreless innings against them at spring training. Darvish pitched at Petco Park at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

“I’m here for a different reason,” he said.

Other notes:

* OF/1B Brad Hawpe requested and received his release from the Rangers. He told the club he felt he wasn’t close to helping on the major league level. He was hitting .260 for Double-A Frisco. Hawpe has hit .276 during eight major-league seasons with the Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Rays and Padres.

* RHP Willie Eyre was signed to a minor league contract and will join Triple-A Round Rock. Eyre, 33, was 1-3 with a 7.92 ERA in 21 relief appearances with Baltimore’s Triple-A team before he was released on June 11. He is 7-8 with a 4.95 ERA in 111 major-league games with the Minnesota Twins, Rangers and Baltimore Orioles.

* Michael Young was out of the Rangers lineup on Tuesday. Washington said he intended to get Mitch Moreland in a game. Young is 2-for-22 in his last six games. “He’s just jumping at the ball,” Washington said. “He has to stay back and trust his hands, and he will.”

* The Rangers have yet to announce their starting rotation past Wednesday. Roy Oswalt and Justin Grimm are possibilities to start Friday against the Colorado Rockies.

* LHP Derek Holland (elbow fatigue) threw long toss Tuesday and said he’s going to try to throw a bullpen session Wednesday. He has been on the disabled list retroactive to June 6. “That’s all they’ve given me for right now,” he said. “(Taking it) day by day, hoping to get farther and farther. I’ve been throwing every day, throwing pretty good, just hoping to keep going from there.”

* Neftali Feliz (right elbow inflammation) threw from 60 feet Tuesday and will throw again Wednesday.

* Monday’s 2-1 victory over the Padres was the first game in the major leagues this season in which both teams scored in the first inning and didn’t score in the rest of the game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.