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TEX@TOR: Darvish fans seven over seven strong frames

Both Yu Darvish and Esmil Rogers will be facing familiar foes on Thursday.

The two starters will be up against the same opponent for the second time in as many outings when the Blue Jays visit Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

For Darvish, that means a chance to learn from his last start.

"We all have to study and learn from our mistakes," said Darvish, who allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings against the Blue Jays last Saturday. "I have to pitch my game and they have to do their jobs."

The Rangers' Japanese pitcher ended up taking the loss against Toronto, and hasn't picked up a victory since May 16 vs. Detroit.

However, that is no reflection on how dominant the right-hander has been on the mound. Darvish has a 2.28 ERA in his last four starts, and has struck out 32 over 27 2/3 innings.

"It really hasn't affected me much," Darvish said of his team's 1-3 record over those starts. "I've done my job. Wins and losses, you can't really control. Some games you give up five runs and still win. Some games you give up one run and still lose. Those things you can't really control. I tried to go deep in the game and give the team a chance to win."

Rogers, who's coming off his best start this season against the Rangers, is looking forward to facing the talented Texas lineup, despite thinking all week he'd be facing the White Sox, before weather altered the plans.

"I got already in my mind how I'm going to pitch these guys, how I'm pitching already," Rogers said of the Rangers. "This team is an aggressive team, I have to have all my pitches ready."

Last time out, the Toronto starter went the deepest he's gone in a game since converting from the bullpen, tossing four innings of one-run ball over 73 pitches and striking out six.

"He got out of there about the time we were ready to get him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "After the first inning, he went to his offspeed stuff pretty regularly. Now we get to see him a second time."

Rangers: Kinsler nears return
When it comes to second baseman Ian Kinsler and the strained muscle in his right rib cage, he can now see the light at the end of the tunnel in his rehab.

The 30-year-old participated in a full workout prior to Wednesday's game and was subsequently cleared for a rehab assignment.

"I haven't had anything physical to tell me not to continue to push it, continue on the same path," Kinsler said. "Hopefully, I can get on the field real quick."

Kinsler, who's been on the disabled list since May 18, will report to Double-A Frisco on Thursday and be used as the club's designated hitter. He will then play second for the following two games before a final decision is made on returning to the big league club.

Depending on how his rib cage feels, Kinsler could be activated as early as Sunday against the Blue Jays.

Blue Jays: Rotation pushed back because of postponed game
The Blue Jays' game against the White Sox was postponed nearly six hours before game time on Wednesday as a result of the impending weather.

However, instead of sending Rogers back to the bullpen for the Rangers series, Toronto opted to push all its starters back a day, meaning the rotation lines up with Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and R.A. Dickey to face the Rangers after Rogers.

Not skipping Rogers came as a bit of a surprise, but Blue Jays manager John Gibbons doesn't want to tinker with what's already there.

"He's part of our five-man rotation now, so we'll just keep everyone in line," Gibbons said.

Worth noting
• The Rangers find themselves in a bit of a funk recently. The club has lost three straight series, including one against the Blue Jays last weekend. During that stretch, Texas has gone 3-6.

• Part of the reason for the Rangers' funk is the club's pitching. Texas' ERA has risen from 3.38 to 3.60 over the past nine games. However, that mark is still good for third in the AL, behind only Kansas City and Detroit.

• The Rangers have had the Blue Jays' number at home. Texas holds an all-time record of 60-35 against Toronto at home. It's the second-best mark against any club at home for Texas, behind only Tampa Bay. The Rangers swept the Blue Jays last season at home in a three-game set and have won five of their last six and six of the last eight on their own diamond.

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