(SportsNetwork.com) - Yu Darvish makes his return to the mound Sunday afternoon for the Texas Rangers as they try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Washington Nationals.
Darvish missed his scheduled start Tuesday at Minnesota due to a stiff neck. The right-hander, who opened the season on the 15-day disabled list with a similar injury, last pitched in a game May 22 at Detroit as he allowed six hits and a pair of runs over seven innings of a 9-2 victory.
Darvish is 3-0 in four road starts this season. He hasn't been beaten on the road since Sept. 4, 2013 at Oakland. Darvish has never faced the Nationals, but is 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA in six career starts versus the National League.
Tanner Roark, who was a 25th-round draft pick by the Rangers in 2008, starts today's game for the Nationals. The right-hander was dealt to Washington July 30, 2010 along with minor league pitcher Ryan Tatusko in exchange for infielder Cristian Guzman.
Roark, who has lost his last two starts, faces the Rangers for the first time in his career.
Doug Fister tossed six solid innings and the Nationals hit four home runs in a 10-2 victory on Saturday.
Anthony Rendon, Scott Hairston, Adam LaRoche and Jose Lobaton homered for the Nationals, who have won the first two contests of this series by a combined score of 19-4. Rendon went 4-for-5 with three runs scored.
"This was huge to build off of, to know that we can go out there and get more than five or six hits a game and just keep pouring it on," LaRoche said. "That's what the really good teams do."
Fister (3-1) allowed two runs on four hits while striking out six to win his third straight start.
Mitch Moreland and Rougned Odor each knocked in a run for the Rangers, who saw starter Nick Tepesch (2-1) give up five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits over two innings.
"Didn't really help myself out is the best way to put it," Tepesch said. "Falling behind, and you're not going to win games falling behind and letting pitches leak back over the middle."
Washington is 7-4 all-time against Texas.