Darvish sharp in 4th rehab start, goes 5 innings

Darvish sharp in 4th rehab start, goes 5 innings

MIDLAND, Texas -- Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish pitched five strong innings Tuesday in his fourth Minor League rehab start since undergoing Tommy John surgery on March 17, 2015. Pitching for Double-A Frisco in the RoughRiders' 11-8, 15-inning win over the Midland RockHounds, Darvish allowed one unearned run via a passed ball on three hits, while striking out six and walking one. He fired 47 of his 68 pitches for strikes.

Despite an early 11 a.m. CT start, Darvish was pleased with his performance. The three-time All-Star added that he woke up earlier than normal to cope with the morning start, so he was fully prepared to face perhaps the most potent offense in the Texas League right now.

"It was an early game, but I felt pretty good," Darvish said through translator Hide Sato. "I was able to make an adjustment to that [early start], and overall, it was a good outing."

Darvish said he wasn't necessarily working on any particular part of his game during his five innings on the mound. Rather, he was just focusing on approaching the game as it came to him.

"I was more realistically pitching to the game's situation," Darvish said. "I felt comfortable. It was just the game."

Frisco manager Joe Mikulik said he was impressed with what he saw from Darvish, and he added that feels he could return to top form soon.

"I thought he threw the ball very well," Mikulik said. "His secondary stuff is much sharper, obviously, with the slow breaking ball. He commanded that very well and his slider was very sharp. He threw some effective fastballs. But the best part is he's feeling really good, and we're building his pitch count back up."

Before Tuesday, Darvish was coming off a pair of solid rehab starts with Triple-A Round Rock on May 6 and May 12. Prior to those outings, he made his first two-inning rehab start with Frisco back on May 1 against Double-A Corpus Christi.

In 14 innings pitched over his four starts between Double-A and Triple-A, Darvish has surrendered four runs (two earned) on six hits to go along with 15 strikeouts and five walks.

The 29-year-old right-hander is expected to make at least one more rehab start this weekend before returning to the Rangers later this month.

Will Korn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.