FULL COUNT: Darvish among Japanese arms shining early on

Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish (3-1) will get some extra rest before his next start after throwing 126 pitches in a one-hitter against the Boston Red Sox on May 9.

Darvish, who has 54 strikeouts over 46.1 innings and a 2.33 ERA, lost his no-hit bid on a two-out single in the top of the ninth by David Ortiz. It was the second time in his career that he’s given up a hit in that situation. He came within one out of a perfect game against Houston in 2013.

Seattle Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma has sizzled in three starts since coming off the DL, where he spent the first five weeks of the season nursing a finger injury.

Iwakuma (2-0) has a 1.59 ERA with 15 strikeouts and a 0.66 WHIP. He finished third in the AL Cy Young voting last season.

Over in New York, Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (5-0) remains undefeated through seven starts. Tanaka has won 41 consecutive professional starts between Japan and MLB and hasn’t lost a regular season game since August 2012. He currently has 58 strikeouts in 49.0 innings of work, and a 2.57 ERA.

Meanwhile his teammate and fellow starter Hiroki Kuroda (2-3) has struggled to find consistency early on. Kuroda has a 4.62 ERA and just 36 strikeouts in eight starts, but is showing signs of improvement as of late.

Drew Morita, a Yonsei from Kaua‘i, writes from San Francisco. Follow him @drewmorita or e-mail him at drew_morita@yahoo.com.

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