On Tuesday, Rangers ace Yu Darvish will pitch under the bright lights of the Big Apple for the first time in his Major League career, making his first start at Yankee Stadium against the Bronx Bombers.
Darvish had been scheduled to pitch on Sunday against the Cardinals, but his start was pushed back to make room for Martin Perez in the rotation.
"I haven't thrown yet so I can't tell you for sure, but I don't think it changes much," Darvish said.
Darvish, an American League Cy Young Award candidate, won his only start against the Yankees, throwing 8 1/3 shutout innings with 10 strikeouts on April 24, 2012, in Arlington. He leads the Majors in strikeouts this season, with 137, and he notched 10 in most recent start, on Tuesday against the A's. He struggled with his command, though, and gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits in as many innings in a loss.
Darvish will face a Yankees lineup missing a number of key pieces, but a key fill-in is Zoilo Almonte, who has been a young bright spot since he was called up. The rookie outfielder has two walks and a home run in five games, and he's pushed a struggling Vernon Wells out of the lineup with his production.
"I think their lineup has changed completely," Darvish said. "I know [Derek] Jeter is not playing and I don't know who else is in the lineup. I will study them, and then we'll have a meeting and I'll come up with a game plan."
One player Darvish is quite familiar with is Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda. The two are Japanese countrymen.
"I think he's a great pitcher," Darvish said.
For Kuroda, who is 1-2 with a 2.57 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers, it'll be the fourth time opposing a fellow Japanese-born starter. Kuroda threw a shutout in his previous start against the Rangers, on Aug. 14, 2012, allowing just two hits.
Kuroda defeated the Dodgers in his last start, on Wednesday, allowing two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings in the first game of a doubleheader. It was his first win since May 17.
Yankees: Adams slumping in June
Whereas Almonte has been hitting well recently, another rookie has struggled. David Adams is 4-for-35 in 11 games in June, with four RBIs and 11 strikeouts. He drew his first career walk on Saturday, but manager Joe Girardi is sticking with him as the everyday third baseman.
"Sometimes as a young player, you can get a little overanxious," Girardi said. "Maybe he's trying to do a little too much."
Rangers: Gentry to the disabled list
The Rangers placed Craig Gentry on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, retroactive to Friday, with a nondisplaced fracture in his left hand. Gentry took a pitch to the hand on June 18 and is still bothered by the pain. In a corresponding move, the Rangers recalled Engel Beltre from Triple-A Round Rock. Beltre was batting .300 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 72 games for the Express this season.
• The Rangers ended a stretch of 20 games played in as many days with Sunday night's win over the Cardinals.
"I thought we handled ourselves well," manager Ron Washington said. "We had a bad spell but we handled ourselves well. Now Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland are back. That changes everything. Getting those guys back gets some stability back in the lineup."
• The Yankees are 15-5 over their last 20 home games against the Rangers. New York has outscored Texas, 138-81, in that span.
• The Rangers have won their last two road series after their matchup with the Cardinals last weekend. They took two of three from the Mariners from May 24-26.
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.