Darvish on track to start Sunday vs. Angels

Darvish on track to start Sunday vs. Angels

ARLINGTON -- Yu Darvish, the Rangers' hottest starting pitcher, threw long toss Thursday and felt much better as he prepares to start for the Rangers on Sunday against the Angels.

Darvish, who missed Tuesday's scheduled start with a stiff neck, will throw from a mound on Friday. If he continues to improve, he'll get the go ahead on Sunday.

Darvish ramped things up Thursday morning, throwing several pitches from flat ground before the Rangers' series finale against the A's. Rangers manager Ron Washington said he hadn't gotten any medical reports before the game, but said he was confident Darvish will be ready to go against the Angels.

"He's not tentative for Sunday," Washington said. "If Sunday rolls around and he hasn't pitched, it will be Sunday."

Darvish did some light tossing Wednesday, and he reported that he was better.

The Rangers will stick with Ryan Dempster on Friday and Derek Holland will likely pitch on Saturday. There was no thought to adjusting the rotation due to Dempster's struggles thus far against the Angels -- he is 0-1 with a 14.63 ERA against them in two starts, allowing 13 runs in eight innings.

"I look at it in the opposite," Washington said. "It's time for him to pitch well against them."