ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers open a three-game series at home against Minnesota with right-hander Yu Darvish facing Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks at 7:05 p.m. Friday night on Ch. 21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.
Darvish (12-5, 2.68): The expectations are so high for Darvish, who is a Cy Young frontrunner despite throwing one disappointing pitch in his last start Saturday against the Chicago White Sox ... Darvish allowed a two-run home run to Adam Dunn -- a pretty good power hitter -- to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning in a game the Rangers eventually lost .. Darvish dealt with leg cramps in the start, but he is healthy and ready to go Friday ... He has a major league leading 225 strikeouts, tying Ferguson Jenkins (1974) for third most Ks in club history behind Nolan Ryan's 301 in 1989 and 232 in 1990 ... Darvish had 11 punchouts against the White Sox, his 10th game with 10 Ks or more this season ... He is 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last seven starts ... Darvish has started once against the Twins last April in Minnesota, getting a no decision while allowing one earned run in 5 2/3 innings.
Hendriks (0-2, 6.20): Hendriks will make his second start since replace Kyle Gibson in the Twins' rotation .. Hendriks' first outing didn't go so well as he allowed seven runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings against Cleveland on Saturday ... Opponents are batting .302 against Hendriks ... He is 1-12 with a 5.79 ERA for 24 career starts ... He has allowed 25 home runs in 129 career innings ... Seven of those homers have come off of his slider, a pitch Hendriks has struggled with in his young career ... The 24-year-old right-hander, who hails from Australia, also throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball and a changeup.