Rangers ace Yu Darvish is not a trash talker.
He never has been and he never will be.
But few would blame the right-hander if boasted about his success against the Angels.
Darvish is 4-1 with a 4.36 ERA in seven starts against the American League West rivals from Anaheim, where he is 2-1 with 2.11 ERA, the fifth-lowest ERA of any Rangers pitcher with at least three starts at Angel Stadium.
"I don't care who I face, I just try to make the best pitches that I can," Darvish said. "I don't know my ERA against this team, but I don't feel uncomfortable facing them."
Darvish began the season by coming within one out of a perfect game against the Astros, but he did not fare nearly as well in his next two starts, allowing a combined six runs in 11 innings in starts against the Angels and Mariners. He rebounded in start No. 4 with seven dominant innings in a 7-0 victory over the Mariners on Friday.
"He looked normal to me," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Darvish's second and third starts. "He said he was off, but I never thought he was off. He was trying to find his comfort zone but he was still getting outs. That's all that matters to me."
Opposing Darvish, the Angels will send rookie reliever Michael Roth to the mound in place of Tommy Hanson, who is on the bereavement list.
"It's going to be a staff day unless Michael Roth goes and gets through six innings," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the 5-4 walk-off win that evened the series and snapped the Rangers' four-game win streak on Tuesday night. "It doesn't have to be, but I think we can back him up with some guys if we have to do. I think he's a good candidate, and it gives us more options where we can use Jerome [Williams] if we have to."
Roth, 23, is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in five innings this season. He's walked one batter and struck out seven in four games but has not pitched more than two innings in an outing.
"My arm feels good. I haven't thrown out of the 'pen on back-to-back days yet," Roth said. "I think I'll be all right. My last start in Double-A was five innings. I'm just going to go out there inning by inning, as cliché as that sounds. Go out there and have some fun."
It's been a meteoric rise for Roth. He was in rookie ball last year and started this season at Double-A Arkansas.
"I wouldn't have thought it, you wouldn't have thought it, but that's what it is right now," Roth said. "I'm excited to go out there and hopefully put the team in a position to win."
Rangers: Great catch sidelines Baker
Texas will likely be without utility player Jeff Baker for at least a couple of days with a bruised right knee. Baker injured the knee making a terrific sliding catch on Josh Hamilton's long fly ball in the first inning on Tuesday night.
Baker made the catch along the foul line and then slid hard into the wall. He had to come out of the game.
"It's bruised up pretty good but nothing severe," Baker said. "A couple of days to let the swelling go down and I should be ready to go."
Baker started because there was a left-hander on the mound for the Angels. Left-handed-hitting David Murphy took over in left when Baker came out. The Rangers are not scheduled to face another southpaw until Friday in Minnesota.
• The Rangers have been in first place in the AL West for 469 of the last 505 days in the regular season, dating back to June 8, 2010. They have been in the top spot for 182 of 204 days since the start of the 2012 season.
Angels: Trumbo is on a roll
Mark Trumbo went 2-for-5 on Tuesday and has at least one hit in 16 of his 19 games this season. He also has seven doubles.
• The Angels recalled left-handed pitcher Nick Maronde from Arkansas and optioned infielder Tommy Field to Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday.
"There's no doubt that we've gone through a lot of pitching with the extra inning game in the Detroit series and [Monday]," Scioscia said. "You need that fresh arm at times, and this is one of those times."
• Twenty-two of the club's first 32 games this season are against teams that made the playoffs in 2012.
• Angels outfielder Mike Trout has two home runs off Darvish. He and Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion are the only players who have hit two home runs off the Texas ace.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.