Yu Darvish saved his best stuff for after his inning on the mound.
The Texas Rangers ace, who was shut down in August because of elbow inflammation, threw 14 pitches without any discomfort during an intrasquad game Sunday at Surprise, Ariz., his most extensive work since the injury ended his 2014 season.
Afterward, the three-time All-Star described his outing as "great," saying he was pleased with his performance, which included him hitting 94 mph on the radar gun.
Darvish delivered a surprise after the workout by speaking to writers almost exclusively in English for the first time since joining the Rangers in 2012. Standing in front of his locker, Darvish first shooed away Japanese reporters before addressing his injury and some of the criticism that followed.
After making his last start Aug. 9, Darvish was accused in some circles of quitting on the Rangers, an allegation he shut down with a choice English curse word.
"I didn't quit on the team. I love this ballclub. I've never done that in my life. That's not true," he said.
Darvish said that doctors advised him that if he kept pitching he would be risking further damage to his elbow ligament. He said he did not receive any injections in the elbow.
Darvish said he feels more comfortable physical and mentally than at any time in his career.
Phillies lose exhibition game against college team
Starter Paul Clemens pitched two perfect innings but the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the University of Tampa, 6-2, in the first spring-training game for a major league team this year.
Detroit and Miami play college teams Monday, then the regular slate of Grapefruit and Cactus League games begin Tuesday.
Russ Canzler, Aaron Altherr and Tommy Joseph strung together three consecutive one-out hits to put the Phillies ahead, 2-0, in the second inning.
After that, the Phillies did little against the No. 1-ranked team in NCAA Division II.