Yu Darvish’s nemeses so far in his career have been the Oakland Athletics and those pillows he uses in spring training.

The A’s, though, have been more annoying than any pain in the neck.

Their hitters, one through nine, seem to give Darvish fits by the way they extend at-bats or go against scouting reports or find a way to fend off his best pitches.

That didn’t change Monday night at O.co Coliseum, where Darvish labored through six innings and logged 116 pitches only to receive a no-decision.

But he said that he is better equipped to face the A’s this year than in the previous two, in which he posted a 1-6 record against the two-time defending American League West champions.

The results were better in his first start against them this season, and his ability to escape three A’s threats early in the game gave the Texas Rangers enough time to rally to a 4-3 victory to open a three-game series.

Donnie Murphy provided the go-ahead hit in the eighth inning, driving in Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Joakim Soria stranded the tying run at second base in the ninth after a one-out error on Elvis Andrus.

Darvish, though, even while not at his best, found a way against the one team that gets under his skin.

“I think they are smart hitters, and they are able to make adjustments,” Darvish said. “I know I haven’t pitched well in this stadium. Compared to last year, I think I’ve matured mentally to battle teams like that. I think that I won’t get frustrated or irritated, and I will focus on the batter in front of me.”

Shin-Soo Choo started the game with a home run, but he would leave in the seventh inning after spraining his left ankle on a close play at first base in which he was initially called safe before the call was overturned after video review.

X-rays taken of the ankle were negative, and an MRI has been scheduled for Tuesday. Choo said that he feels pain when he runs, and manager Ron Washington expects to give Choo at least a day off Tuesday.

“I hit the bag too hard,” Choo said. “I didn’t know exactly what happened, but I felt very sore when I hit the bag. I talked to Wash. I didn’t want to make it worse.”

All three A’s runs came in the second, an inning that Brandon Moss opened with a towering homer on Darvish’s first pitch. Coco Crisp, who reached in his first four plate appearances, drove in two more with a two-out single to left.