Darvish holds nerve in MLB debut

Japanese pitcher handles the pressure in his highly-anticipated Major League Baseball debut for the Texas Rangers.

    After a shaky start Yu Darvish won on his debut as the Rangers rallied to beat the Seattle Mariners [EPA]

    Prized Japanese pitching prospect Yu Darvish did not set the world on fire in his Major League Baseball debut but shrugged off a rough start to lead Texas Rangers to an 11-5 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

    Texas bid in excess of $51 million just to land exclusive negotiating rights with Darvish then handed the 25-year-old a six-year deal worth a reported $60 million.

    However, the Rangers' new acquisition did not start out smoothly in front of the expectant home fans, walking two batters and unleashing a wild pitch during a rocky first inning where Seattle scored four times.


    "Today when I stepped on the mound for the first time I was very calm. Mentally I was calm but my body felt like it wanted to go and go," Darvish told reporters through an interpreter.

    "My mind and my body weren't on the same page."

    After allowing a fifth run in the second, the big right-hander settled and went on to finish with eight hits and four walks, striking out five in 110 pitches over 5 2/3 innings.

    The Rangers' (3-1) offence needed little time to warm up, Nelson Cruz hitting a three-run home run in the third to tie the game. Mitch Moreland smacked a two-run shot in the fourth, where Josh Hamilton also homered.

    Ian Kinsler added a three-run blast in the eighth inning to bury the Mariners (3-2).

    "Our goal is to do what it takes to win the game and tonight that meant score runs," said Kinsler.

    Texas announced they had signed Kinsler to a five-year contract extension worth $75 million beginning in 2013.

    Seattle second-year pitcher Hector Noesi lasted just three innings in the loss.

    Kyle Seager had three RBIs for the Mariners and Ichiro Suzuki added three hits against countryman Darvish.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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