May 7, 2016 / 3:27 AM / a year ago

Rangers pitcher Darvish says velocity is up after rehab start

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May 1, 2016; Frisco, TX, USA; Frisco RoughRiders starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) in action against the Corpus Christi Hooks at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

ROUND ROCK, Texas (Reuters) - Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, looking to return the Major League after missing all of last season due to elbow surgery, went three innings in a minor league rehabilitation assignment on Friday, giving up one run and striking out three.

Wearing number 75 for the Round Rock Express, the Texas Rangers Triple-A affiliate located near Austin, Darvish struck out the first two batters he faced from the New Orleans Zephyrs, a Florida Marlins affiliate.

The 29-year-old right hander's fastball clocked 98 mph in a perfect first inning where he set down the side in order.

"My velocity was up," he said after making his second start since his return to the mound after being sidelined for more than a year.

The three-time All Star is coming back from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in March 2015. He has not appeared in a regular season game in the Majors since August 2014.

"I felt pretty good about my fastball today and I was throwing it a lot. Towards the end, I got a little tired because of that," he said.

He ran into trouble in the second inning, where he gave up a two-out single and double, leading to one run for the Zephyrs.

He pitched a perfect frame in the third, striking out one. He threw 50 pitches in the outing.

In his first rehabilitation start on Sunday, Darvish went two innings with the Texas Rangers Double-A affiliate, the Frisco RoughRiders, giving up no hits and striking out two.

Darvish said it may be a couple of weeks or more before he feels that he will be at full strength. He did not a timetable for when he would return to the Rangers.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Satoko Nakajima

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