Darvish (12-9, 4.51 ERA): He's making his first start since Aug. 17, when he pitched well (three earned runs in seven innings) in Toronto but lost. ... In fact, Darvish has quality starts in his last two outings, including a win over the Detroit Tigers. ... Darvish is 2-5 with a 6.23 ERA in eight starts since the start of July. ... This is his second attempt to become the first Ranger rookie ever to win 13 games. ... He's second in the AL in strikeouts per nine innings at 10.48, but third in walks with 80. ... He has seven games with 10 or more strikeouts, the most in the majors. ... Darvish is facing the Rays for the first time. Against an opponent for the first time in his career, Darvish is 8-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 11 starts.
Shields (12-7, 4.01 ERA): The 30-year-old is making his 27th start of the season and his 14th on the road. ... He's 7-3 with a 3.98 ERA away from Tropicana Field in 2012. ... Over his last five starts, he's 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA (vs. Oakland, Toronto, Minnesota, Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City) and has 34 strikeouts while allowing 22 hits and three walks in that span. ... In his last start, Shields allowed three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in 7 2/3 innings in a victory over the Royals. ... Shields is tied for fourth in innings pitched, fifth in strikeouts and third in hits allowed. ... This is is 10th career regular-season start against Texas. He's 6-2 with a 3.32 ERA and has won his last four regular-season starts against the Rangers (a 1.80 ERA in that stretch). ... He is 0-2 with a 10.61 ERA in three playoff starts (one in 2010, one in 2011) against Texas.
Hitters: Elvis Andrus is 10-for-16 (.625) in his career off Shields and has by far the best mark against him of any Ranger. ... Josh Hamilton is 3-for-19 in the regular season off him. ... Michael Young (5-for-23), Ian Kinsler (5-for-25), David Murphy (3-for-16) and Mitch Moreland (2-for-12) have struggled against him. ... Darvish has not faced the Rays.