Recent performances by the right-hander certainly back up those words. Darvish is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA over his past three starts. And after a minor scare -- he was scratched two starts ago due to tightness in his right quadriceps -- he rebounded for one of his best starts of the season his last time out.
Darvish blanked the Rays for seven innings on Aug. 28, only allowing six hits and striking out 10 in Texas' 1-0 win. He has struck out 37 in his past four outings and 182 on the season.
The rookie needs seven more to match Edwin Correa's rookie team record (189) established in 1989.
"I think I can continue to do this for the next month," Darvish said. "My body feels good, my preparation for the games feels good. Not so much that I'm going to get more excited or pump it up for the next month, just kind of continue this groove and pitch as normal as I can."
Manager Ron Washington said the Rangers "need" to go into Kansas City and take four victories. But the first win might be the most difficult to find if Royals pitcher Bruce Chen looks anything like he did in his previous start, arguably his best this year.
Chen tossed a scoreless and season-high eight innings against Detroit on Wednesday, allowing just four hits and a walk in a 1-0 win. And as the former Ranger prepares to face one of the best three-four hitter tandems in baseball -- Texas' Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre -- he kept Detroit's own powerful duo in check. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder went 1-for-6 against Chen.
"He made it look pretty easy, to be honest with you," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
"He's not overpowering, as anybody can see. You look at the radar gun, he's one of those guys that doesn't impress you, but he's a really good pitcher. He knows how to pitch, he knows what he's doing, he never gives in."
Rangers: Kinsler scratched, Profar debuts
• Rookie Jurickson Profar homered in his first Major League at-bat and went 2-for-4 on Sunday in his debut, also doubling. Profar started at second base and hit ninth, replacing Ian Kinsler, who was a late scratch.
Kinsler is day to day due to lower back stiffness and he may return to the Rangers' lineup as soon as Monday's game.
Profar is ranked as the Rangers' top prospect and the fourth overall prospect by MLB.com. He hit .281 with 76 runs, 14 home runs, and 62 RBIs in 126 games with Double-A Frisco this season. He also became the third-youngest player to ever play for Texas (19 years and 195 days), trailing only David Clyde and Wilson Alvarez.
• Beltre was named the Rangers Player of the Month for August. He hit .500 with seven home runs and 15 RBIs over his last 10 games of the month.
Royals: Lough makes second start
• David Lough went 2-for-5 starting in right field and hitting leadoff on Sunday, a day after he also went 2-for-5 in his Major League debut. Lough has also scored three runs through his first two big league games.
"I enjoyed seeing him get his first Major League hit," manager Ned Yost said. "I know how hard he's worked to get here. He did a nice job. First big league game, got two hits."
• Luke Hochevar's poor start on Saturday against Minnesota may have been a blessing in disguise. Hochevar threw only 63 pitches in lasting 1 2/3 innings, making him a possible option to start Wednesday's game for the Royals.
• Texas enters the series 2-3 this season against Kansas City, but the Rangers are 40-22 (.645) against the Royals since 2005, their highest winning percentage against an American League club over that span.
• Kansas City's 17-11 record in August was the team's best in the month since going 18-11 in 1991.
• The Rangers have lost their last four Labor Day games.