"The team gave me a plan," Darvish said. "I think it's going to be two more. The last time I was on a big league mound, I was in pain. So my goal today was to get off the mound with no pain. I feel pretty good so it was a good step to make. I didn't feel any pain, but I'm trying something different so I've got to keep going."
His next start could be against Northwest Arkansas on Saturday in Frisco although the Rangers have not made a final decision. He allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits, three walks and five strikeouts. He topped out 95 mph on the radar gun.
"That's where I wanted to be," Darvish said. "I felt a little tired because it was hot out there before the game. But I did what I could."
Darvish is one of three starters on the disabled list for the Rangers along with Colby Lewis and Derek Holland. Since Darvish went on the disabled list, Rangers starters are 8-6 with a 4.62 ERA in their last 25 games while averaging 5.44 innings per start.
The current starters are 1-3 with a 5.21 ERA on the current roadtrip after Chi Chi Gonzalez lasted just two-thirds of an inning on Saturday and Nick Martinez allowed six runs in 41/3 innings on Monday.
"That's where we are at," manager Jeff Banister said after a 12-5 loss to the Red Sox on Monday. "Obviously we've got Chi Chi and Nick here, feel comfortable with A.J. Griffin. That's where we are at. We've got to be better. We've got to find a way to pitch better in those games. It's a challenging time. We've got to find a way to get better."
Darvish, facing the Royals' Double-A affiliate started the night by walking Terrance Gore and Raul Mondesi, the son of the former Dodgers outfielder who was playing for the first time since his 50-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs. Darvish then struck out the next three hitters although Gore scored in the middle of it by stealing third and scoring on catcher Kellin Deglan's throwing error.
Darvish gave up another run in the second on a leadoff single by Cam Gallagher and a one-out double by Logan Moon. But he struck out the next two hitters he faced.
His night came to an end when he walked Mondesi for a second time to lead off the third. But Darvish went out to the bullpen and threw another 20 pitches on the side.
Keone Kela also made his first appearance on medical rehabilitation assignment, pitching for Triple-A Round Rock on Monday. Kela pitched the eighth inning against New Orleans and struck out three of four batters, allowing only a single. He threw 18 pitches and is expected to report to Double-A Frisco later this week to continue the rehab assignment.
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.