HOUSTON -- The Texas Rangers and Houston Astros play Game 2 of their three-game series on Saturday night with Yu Darvish, who flirted with a perfect game his last time at Minute Maid Park on April 2, facing left-hander Erik Bedard at 6:10 p.m. on Fox Sports Soutwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.
Darvish (5-1, 2.56 ERA): Darvish returns to the scene of his near-perfect game against the Astros on April 2 … He retired the first 26 batters he faced before Houston shortstop Marwin Gonzalez singled up the middle … Darvish became the first Rangers pitcher to lose a no-hitter with one out to go … He has continued the momentum from his opening start and was named the Rangers Player of the Month for April … He went 5-1 with a 2.33 ERA and 58 strikeouts for six starts in the opening month … Darvish pitched a determined game in his most recent start Sunday at home against Boston, allowing three runs in seven innings … Darvish threw a major league-high 127 pitches … He gave up a two-run home run to David Ortiz in the first inning and solo shot to David Ross in the second inning, then held the Red Sox scoreless the rest of the way … Darvish leads the majors with 72 strikeouts and is third in wins and second in batting average against with a .169 mark … He is 2-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 33 strikeouts for three road starts … Darvish is a 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA with two 25 strikeouts for two career starts versus Houston.
Bedard (0-2, 7.36 ERA): Bedard is back in the rotation after being shifted to the bullpen, but it's not because he's been pitching well … Bedard, the Astros' No. 5 starter to begin the season, is off to a rough start, though he did pitch three innings and allow only one run on Sunday in a 9-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers … He will make his 200th career appearance and sixth start of the season … Bedard has a .343 batting average against as a starter … He's faced the Rangers once this season, throwing 3⅓ shutout innings in the Astros' opening-night victory over Texas … Bedard allowed one hit and no walks to get his first career save … He has been a Rangers nemesis through the years, going 5-4 with a 3.36 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 93⅔ innings.
Hitters: The Astros on the current roster are 5-for-44 against Darvish, and that includes center fielder Justin Maxwell, who has two hits against Darvish but is on the disabled list. Nelson Cruz (6-for-17, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs) and Ian Kinsler (9-for-30, 1 RBI) have had success against Bedard.