ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's Yu Darvish time again for the Rangers as the ace right-hander goes for his eighth win against Kansas City and Royals right-hander Ervin Santana at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday afternoon on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.
Darvish (7-2, 3.03): Darvish makes his 12th start, and he's off to a historic beginning to the 2013 season ... He is fourth pitcher in American League history with at least 105 strikeouts through 11 starts, behind Pedro Martinez (117 in 1999, 114 in 2000 and 121 in 2001), Sam McDowell (109 in 1968), Roger Clemens (107 in 1988) ... Darvish gets an extra days rest after getting on no decision Monday in Arizona ... He took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth but gave up a game-tying two-run home run to Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius ... Darvish had 14 strikeouts, the third time he's done that this season ... He's the 10th pitcher in AL history to have three 14-strikeout games in a season, the last Martinez in both 1999 and 2000 ... Darvish leads the majors with 12.71 strikeouts per nine innings ... His .186 opponents batting average is fourth best in the majors ... Darvish can tie Justin Masterson and Matt Moore for the AL leads in wins on Sunday ... Darvish is 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA for six home starts ... He won his only start against Kansas City last season, winning 8-4 at Kauffman Stadium ... He allowed three hits and had six strikeouts in seven innings.
Santana (3-5, 3.33): Santana was traded from the Rangers' AL West rivals, the Los Angeles Angels, to Kansas City on Oct. 31 for lefty Brandon Sisk ... Santana is off to a solid start with the Royals, but a struggling offense hasn't helped him or new starter James Shields ... Santana was hurt by home runs in most recent start against St. Louis, allowing three of them in a 4-1 loss to the Cardinals ... It was Santana's fourth straight defeat despite going 7 1/3 innings ... Santana has a career 99-85 record, putting him a win from becoming the 10th Dominican-born pitcher to hit the century mark ... Santana has made 27 career starts againt the Rangers, going 13-11 with an ugly 6.04 ERA ... He is 6-7 with a 7.47 ERA in Rangers Ballpark ... He has twice shutout the Rangers.
Hitters: Elvis Andrus (12-for-37, 2 RBIs) and Mitch Moreland (5-for-17, 1 HR, 3 RBIs) have had the most success against Santana. Adrian Beltre has five home runs and Nelson Cruz has three off Santana. Darvish has held the Royals to a .105 batting average with Alex Gordon and David Lough collecting the only hits.