Yu Darvish is scheduled to make his major league debut for the Texas Rangers in the fourth game of the season.
Rangers manager Ron Washington confirmed the starting rotation Thursday. Darvish is set to start April 9 at home in a series opener against Seattle, a night before closer-turned-starter Neftali Feliz makes his first major league start against the Mariners.
The Mariners opened the season against Oakland, splitting a two-game series in Tokyo, Japan. Seattle scored just four runs in 20 innings against Oakland pitching, perhaps boosting Washington's desire to have his new starters face the Mariners.
“Wherever and whenever I’m told to pitch, I’ll just do my best,” said Darvish, who likely will face fellow Japanese standout Ichiro Suzuki in his debut. “That’s all I’m thinking about right now.”
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Right-hander Colby Lewis will make his first opening day start April 6 against the Chicago White Sox. Left-handers Derek Holland and Matt Harrison are scheduled to start the final two games of that opening home series.
The 25-year-old Darvish was 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA the past seven seasons in Japan’s Pacific League. The Rangers committed more than $107 million to get the 6-foot-5 right-hander.