A.J. Pierzynski isn't catching Yu Darvish tonight, as the veteran backstop is serving as the designated hitter with Geovany Soto catching.
Pierzynski caught Darvish's last start on Wednesday in Oakland, and they had a heated exchange of words on the mound at one point during the game. But that had nothing to do with manager Ron Washington's decision, and Pierzynski brushed off any talk of the incident.
"Darvish and I are fine," Pierzynski said. "That's it. There's nothing else to it. It was an intense series, an intense moment. Things happen. That's it."
Darvish lasted only five innings, allowing five runs on five hits with six walks and four strikeouts, in his last start, but has still posted a 2.80 ERA in 17 starts with Pierzynski behind the plate this season. Two of those starts included Darvish flirting with no-hit bids going into the seventh inning.
With Soto behind the plate, Darvish has a 3.07 ERA over 11 starts.
Pierzynski said it's not unusual for Washington to give Soto a couple consecutive starts at catcher. He went on to say that he and Washington discussed using him a few more times at DH down the stretch to keep him fresh.
-- Drew Davison