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Yu Darvish throws 8 2/3 perfect innings in Houston (14 strikeouts)

In his first start of the season, Rangers starter Yu Darvish threw 8 2/3 perfect innings against the Astros in Houston in a 7-0 win for Texas. The 26-year-old Darvish struck out 14 batters in the game.

With his pitch count escalating, Darvish got designated hitter Jason Castro to ground out to the shortstop to start the ninth inning. Catcher Carlos Corporan followed with a ground out to second base. But on Darvish’s first pitch to shortstop Marwin Gonzalez — his 111th pitch of the evening — Gonzalez smacked a ground-ball base hit up the middle. Rangers manager Ron Washington pulled the pitcher after he allowed the first Astros’ hit of the night.

Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman allowed a hit to second baseman Jose Altuve, but struck out pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez to end the game and preserve the shutout.

via Yu Darvish throws 8 2/3 perfect innings in Houston.

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