Darvish in control with scoreless spring debut

Rangers righty pleased with fastball command vs. Royals

Darvish in control with scoreless spring debut

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The significance of Sunday's outing came to Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish when he began to warm up by playing catch in the outfield.

Darvish was getting ready for his first Cactus League outing of the spring and his first since March 5, 2015. That was the game in which Darvish pitched one inning and then came out with tightness in his right elbow. He eventually underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire season.

"It crossed my mind," said Darvish, who didn't let it bother him in logging 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the Rangers in their 6-4 victory over the Royals at Surprise Stadium. Darvish was hitting 93-96 mph with his fastball on the radar gun.

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Darvish walked two, gave up a hit and struck out two. He also threw 37 pitches, including 25 in the first inning. That's why he was replaced with two out in the second by Minor League right-hander Preston Claiborne.

"I felt pretty good about my fastball," Darvish said. "That's the biggest thing. I was able to control the fastball."

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Darvish also was able to throw his split-finger pitch, which he is trying to re-establish in his offspeed arsenal.

"I thought it was really good," Darvish said. "It's early in Spring Training and guys are not swinging, but I felt it was a pretty good pitch. The important thing is guys were swinging on the fastball and getting me quick outs."

Rangers beat
• Rule 5 Draft pick Mike Hauschild was impressive in his two-inning scoreless outing. He allowed one hit and struck out three. All three came in the sixth, his first inning of work.

Delino DeShields was 1-for-3 with a stolen base, run scored and an RBI against the Royals.

• The Rangers have not yet scheduled Cole Hamels and Andrew Cashner for a Cactus League game. They are both throwing bullpen and batting practice sessions on the back fields. Said pitching coach Doug Brocail, "We have a lot of time."

Adrian Beltre, sidelined with a strained left calf muscle, has started taking batting practice, but he is still limited in his ability to run.

• The Rangers are scheduled for split-squad action on Monday with Eddie Gamboa pitching against the Brewers in Surprise and Chi Chi Gonzalez facing the Indians in Goodyear. But the weather forecast is calling for rain.

• Rookie catcher Jose Trevino is scheduled to catch for Gamboa. Trevino has done so once already for the knuckleballer in camp in live batting practice and said, "It was the first time ever except for me and my buddies throwing it back and forth. It's supposed to be difficult [catching the knuckleball] ... but I liked it. I caught him and he was fine. We'll see how it goes."

• Catcher Brett Hayes, in camp on a Minor League contract, remains sidelined with a strained oblique muscle.

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.