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Fri, 09 Mar 2012 03:24 PM EST

Yu Darvish pitched 2 scoreless innings in his 1st Cactus League start, getting 3 strikeouts and permitting 2 hits, both doubles, versus the San Diego Padres. Basketball lines

Darvish pitched in front of a half-full stadium, almost 100 media members and a couple of Rangers officials, including managing director Jon Daniels and GM Nolan Ryan.

Darvish displayed a wide array of pitches, including a fastball at 92 miles per hour to 95 mph on each side of the plate. He threw a 80 mph curve (one of his harder curves, basically) to get Carlos Quentin, the Padres’ cleanup hitter, to end the 1st inning.

Darvish threw 84 miles per hour slider with a lot of motion to get Cameron Maybin swinging for a strikeout earlier in the inning. He finished his outing with a split-fingered fastball that catcher John Baker couldn’t get and walked off the mass. Basketball betting lines

One or two squad congratulated him, and it appeared catcher Yorvit Torrealba handed Darvish the ball from his final strikeout of the inning.

He ended up throwing 36 pitches, 26 of them strikes. He threw 1st-pitch strikes to 7 of 8 hitters, and pitched out of the stretch.

The 25-year-old did allow 2 doubles on pitches up in the sector. Orlando Hudson hit a double thru the hole between 1st and 2nd, but was left stranded at 2nd in the 1st.

Will Venable hit a 2-2 pitch high off the wall in center field for a leadoff double in the second? It would have been a home run had it not been hit to straightaway center.

Darvish showed his athleticism in the 2nd inning also. He agilely got off the mound and raced to the 1st-base bag in loads of time to receive Michael Young’s throw after Young made a pleasant diving play to take a hit away from Mark Kotsay.

A few pitches later on Darvish leaped and snagged a high chopper off the bat of James Darnell, using his entire 6-foot-5 frame to get it. He then firmly threw home to at last get Venable in a rundown.

This 1st Cactus League start continues on Darvish’s preparation for the regular season. He arrived in Surprise, Ariz, on the morning of Feb. 21, with a few dozen cameras following him as he met some of his new squad and jogged out for a workout.

He threw to live hitters a couple of days later and has continuously followed the same program as the remainder of the Texas Rangers’ pitchers.

Darvish threw 1 inning in an intrasquad game as photographers used ladders to shoot around the fenced-in Nolan Ryan Field on the back bit of the Rangers’ spring training complex.

That one inning was an opportunity for Darvish to confront some of the Rangers’ top hitters in a game ambience.

Darvish announced his command wasn’t where he wanted it, but he liked the game. Four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux, in camp helping coach the pitchers with his bro, Mike, was wowed by Darvish’s stuff after seeing it in that lone inning.

Darvish’s 2 innings on Wednesday mark his initial action towards opposing hitters. He will get more chances this spring, with another start — likely three innings — coming March 13 in Glendale versus the Cleveland Indians.

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