Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/2/12

The Texas Rangers began a campaign Sunday afternoon to help right-hander Yu Darvish earn the final spot on the AL All-Star roster. He would become the eighth Ranger on the team.

Darvish certainly did his part Sunday night, even if the offense didn't get the memo in a 3-1 loss to Oakland. Darvish matched his 16-start career high with 11 strikeouts. He pitched seven innings, marking the ninth time he has pitched into the seventh and the ninth time he has qualified for a quality start.

And did we mention he's kind of popular in Japan?

"I think Yu has a pretty good chance of winning the vote," Washington said after announcing the All-Star roster. "And I encourage fans to vote for him."

That -- and nothing that happened during the game -- may have been his biggest strategic moment of the day. Washington used two of his "manager's choices" for Rangers pitchers, LHP Harrison and RHP Joe Nathan, his closer. He could have chosen Darvish over Harrison, but Harrison had one more start and one more win going into Sunday.

And, quite frankly, the odds of the low-key, low-profile Harrison winning a popular vote seemed long compared to Darvish, a hero in Japan.

"Well, you can steer it any way you like," Washington said. "The bottom line is that all of them deserve to be there. They are All-Stars."

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