Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish will make only his third post-season start in the last four years on Friday when he faces Baltimore in the American League "knockout" wild-card game.

Darvish had two post-season starts in his last three seasons with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japan Central League. He performed well in each game, with a start in the Japan Series becoming part of the lore that surrounds him.

In 2009, Darvish made an unexpected return after missing six weeks because of back and shoulder problems to start against the powerful Yomiuri Giants in Game 2 of the Japan Series. Darvish allowed only two runs in six innings to get a victory.

"He was trying to make sure not to aggravate his injuries while pitching," Fighters manager Masataka Nashida told the Daily Yomiuri newspaper after the win. "For him to throw as well as this in a real game–in which there was a lot of pressure–is amazing. He made me think even more of him."