SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Yu Darvish struck out two while retiring all six White Sox batters he faced Tuesday in his first spring start before Chicago scored 11 runs over the next two innings in a 14-8 win over the Texas Rangers.
Darvish, the Japanese ace who won 16 games as a major league rookie last season, threw his fastball in the mid-90s.
“His velocity was up, his stuff was just better,” said new Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who faced his former team while catching Darvish. “He threw the ball really well and it was very encouraging to see. We talked in the bullpen and talked before the game about what he wanted to accomplish, and he accomplished everything that he wanted to and needed to.”
Pierzynski, who spent his last eight seasons in Chicago before signing a one-year deal with Texas, had previously worked with the 26-year-old Darvish during an intrasquad game last week and in bullpen sessions.
Nestor Molina and Brian Omogrosso, the first two White Sox pitchers, both had two shutout innings.
Chicago scored six runs in the third off 20-year-old Cody Buckel. The right-hander, the top minor league pitcher in the Rangers organization last year, walked five of the seven batters he faced.
Evan Meek, in Rangers camp on a minor league contract, allowed five runs and five hits and got only two outs in the fourth.
NOTES: Josh Phegley homered for the White Sox in the eighth inning. … Chicago had a 12-0 lead before Texas scored five times in the fifth on three hits, including Olt’s first spring homer, and an error. … The two teams play again Wednesday, in Glendale. … Rangers RHP Colby Lewis, who will miss the start of the season while recovering from elbow surgery, said he felt good after throwing Monday off an elevated mound, but one lower than a normal mound. He still is being cautious, with plans to throw long toss Wednesday and off a regular mound Friday.
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