Darvish displays competitive fire, wins again

'He's a supreme competitor on the mound,' Banister says of Texas ace

Darvish displays competitive fire, wins again

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Yu Darvish did not want to come out of the game. He needed one more out to finish the sixth inning and the Mariners' Dae-Ho Lee was up next. He tried to make that clear to manager Jeff Banister as he walked to the mound to get his pitcher.

Darvish was able to joke about it after a 7-3 victory over the Mariners on Friday night.

"Of course, I saw Lee was on deck and I was looking forward to facing him," Darvish said. "I told Banister, but he said, 'Too late.'"

It was too late because it was the second visit by the Rangers to the mound in the inning. Darvish tried to head off Banister before he crossed the foul line.

"As he approached the mound, I tried to make eye contact. ... 'Don't come, don't come,'" Darvish said. "But he put his eyes away. I couldn't do anything about it."

Darvish walked off the mound having allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings against a team that had scored 47 runs in their four previous games and were second in the American League in runs scored.

"When I walked off the mound, I had given up three runs," Darvish said. "When I got to the clubhouse, I realized they had a good lineup and had scored a lot of runs. I guess I pitched pretty well."

Darvish's solid start

Darvish threw 88 pitches and is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in two starts since his return from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

Darvish showed the power with his rebuilt right arm, hitting up to 99 mph on his fastball. But after showing his fastball early, Darvish went to the off-speed pitches more against a lineup known to feast on the hard stuff.

"That was a pretty good gameplan [by] Darvish," Banister said. "Not as sharp with his fastball but his secondary stuff was in play against a good-hitting ballclub. Darvish went out and threw the ball well.

"He was at 88 pitches. He still felt he had a little bit left but we're still in a conservative mode as to where we're going."

Banister was fully cognizant that Darvish wanted to stay in the game.

"I like the fact when I look at the body language, he wanted another hitter," Banister said. "I have no problem with that. He's a supreme competitor out on the mound, he's battling and he wants another guy. We like that. We want that. He's going to get that."

Darvish allowed six hits, walked one and struck out five. He also left another opponent impressed that he is close to being all the way back from his surgery.

"His pitches move everywhere and he has the velocity," Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano said. "I would say it's the same guy.

"Everything is moving. The slider is right down the middle and the next thing you know it's at your back leg. You have to give credit to him, to be able to go have that surgery and go out and work and battle and come back and be the same guy, that's unbelievable."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.