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March 07, 2012

Yu Darvish throws two scoreless innings in spring debut

Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish allowed two hits and struck out three over two scoreless innings in his spring training debut Wednesday against San Diego at the Peoria Sports Complex.

He threw 36 pitches/26 strikes while working exclusively from the stretch, something he was working on during a bullpen session Monday. He threw a first-pitch strike to the first six batters he faced and 7 of 8 overall.

"It's still early, Darvish said. "I'm just starting to face these major-league hitters. And it's still early in the spring. It's early in spring for those hitters, as well. But it is nice to face those guys."

Darvish started the game with a strikeout of Cameron Maybin before Orlando Hudson lined a double to right field. Darvish got Jesus Guzman on a liner to center field, and the struck out Carlos Quentin with a nice curveball to end the first inning.

Will Venable started the second with a double high off the 30-foot wall in center field -- a ball that's a home run in just about every American League ballpark. Darvish didn't think the ball was hit all that well.

“With the dry air in Arizona and the wind blowing out, it carried the ball,” Darvish said. “It didn’t seem like a ball that was hit that squarely.”

Venable, who hit a fastball down the middle rather than its intended inside location, seemed to agree.

“I never expected it to go out, so I put my head down and run,” said Venable, who then acknowledge the obvious. “He was lucky it didn’t go out.”

Darvish rebounded by snagging a one-out chopper and throwing home to cut down Venable. John Baker then struck out on another breaking ball to end Darvish's day.

 -- Jeff Wilson

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