Yu Darvish, the star righthander for the Texas Rangers, may soon become the latest ace pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery. The Rangers said Saturday that Darvish had a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and that their doctor had recommended the operation, which would cost Darvish the 2015 season.
Darvish, an All-Star in each of his three major league seasons, did not pitch last season after Aug. 9 because of elbow inflammation. He left his spring-training debut Thursday after 12 pitches, and a magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed the sprain.
"He couldn't have looked better early on in camp," Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said. "Live batting practice, throwing an intrasquad game, he looked like himself. The hitters wanted no part of him. So there were no signs."
Daniels said Darvish would get a second opinion, but the surgery seems inevitable. Darvish said in a statement that he had not made a final decision but would be disappointed if he needed to miss the season.
The Rangers were ravaged by injuries last season and finished 67-95, the worst record in the American League.
Found a new home: Veteran righthander Chris Young, who signed an incentive-laden, one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals. Young was 12-9 for the Seattle Mariners last season.
Crashed: Jeff Gordon, during the final practice before Sunday's Sprint Cup race in Las Vegas. Gordon had won the pole but will have to drop to the rear of the field because he changed cars.
Debuted: Jozy Altidore, who scored twice in his first game with Toronto FC. Toronto defeated the host Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 in the Major League Soccer opener for both clubs.
Holmes leads by five strokes at Doral
J.B. Holmes overcame a shaky first 12 holes with four consecutive birdies and shot a 2-under-par 70 to move to 11 under after three rounds of the Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla.
That gave Holmes, who has led since the first round, a five-shot lead over Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.
"It's just nice to make some putts," said Holmes of his birdie binge on holes 14-17 while rain fell.
• Scott Brown birdied the final two holes for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead with Chris Smith in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open. Brown, the 2013 winner, matched Smith at 6-under 2010. The 45-year-old Smith had a 68. He won the 2002 Buick Classic in New York for his lone tour title.
• Inbee Park shot a 4-under 68 to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Park, at 13-under 203, was two strokes ahead of top-ranked Lydia Ko and Stacy Lewis, who both shot 67.
AROUND THE HORN
NASCAR: Austin Dillon held off a charging Ryan Blaney to win the Xfinity Series race in Las Vegas. Dillon, who mainly competes in NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series, had the dominant car, leading 183 of the 200 laps.
Horse racing: El Kabeir made a strong move in the stretch and cruised to victory in the $400,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, establishing himself as a serious contender for the Kentucky Derby. ... Dortmund stamped himself as a major Derby threat with a 1 ¼-length victory in the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. The chestnut colt improved to 5-0 and gave trainer Bob Baffert a record fifth San Felipe win. ... Prohibitive favorite Shared Belief, the 5-year-old dark bay gelding, collared pacesetter Moreno on the turn for home and went on to win the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap by 4 ¼ lengths, improving to 10-1 in his career.
Cross-country skiing: Americans Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins of Afton finished third and fourth, respectively, in the women's World Cup freestyle sprint race in Lahti, Finland.
Downhill skiing: Lindsey Vonn finished seventh in the women's World Cup race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, enough to keep her lead in the standings over Anna Fenninger of Austria.
Tennis: Bob and Mike Bryan needed five sets but beat scratch pairing Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot to win the doubles against Britain, reducing the Americans' deficit to 2-1 in the Davis Cup first-round tie in Glasgow, Scotland. The 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 (8), 9-7 victory means the twins still have never lost after going two sets up. Britain remains the big favorite to advance to a quarterfinal against France because Andy Murray, the former Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, is playing John Isner in the first of Sunday's reverse singles.
Soccer: MLS's two expansion teams, Orlando City SC and New York City FC, will face each other on Sunday night at the Citrus Bowl before an anticipated 62,000 fans.
24Minutes between aces by Dustin Johnson and J.B. Holmes during the third round of the Cadillac Championship. Both used a 7-iron on the 207-yard fourth hole. Holmes leads the tournament.