Right-hander Yu Darvish will start the Texas Rangers' wild-card playoff game Friday against the New York Yankees or Baltimore Orioles after the Rangers lost the American League West title to the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
Manager Ron Washington said before Wednesday's game in Oakland that Darvish would start the team's first playoff game, whether that was the wild-card game or the first game of a five-game series. The Rangers lost, 12-5, to the A's, who won the AL West.
"When we play again, he'll be our pitcher," Washington said.
Darvish, who signed a six-year, $56 million contract over the offseason, finished the regular season with a 16-9 record and 3.90 ERA in 29 starts. The 26-year-old won his final four decisions and hasn't lost in his past six outings.
He last pitched on Sunday, allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Angels.
''He was searching to find what he was capable of doing over here," Washington said of Darvish's first season since leaving Japan. "And I think he realizes now that competing in a relaxed, trusting and believing, that there was something he was searching for all year and he finally found it."