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Padres' Yu Darvish Records First Victory of MLB Season

Returning to the starting rotation after a 15-day stint on the injured list, Yu Darvish pitched five scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds.



Yu Darvish
San Diego Padres starter Yu Darvish throws a pitch to a Cincinnati Reds batter in the first inning at Petco Park on April 30, 2024. (Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY SPORTS)

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Making his sixth start of the 2024 season, Yu Darvish finally won his first game on Tuesday, April 30.

The San Diego Padres snapped a five-game losing streak on the same night, beating the visiting Cincinnati Reds 6-4 at Petco Park.

Darvish (1-1) threw five scoreless innings, holding the Reds to three hits. He issued zero walks and fanned three.

In the fifth inning, Padres slugger Manny Machado bashed a three-run double off Reds starter Nick Martinez with no outs for the big hit in the game. That made it 4-0.

San Diego extended its lead to 5-0 entering the sixth, when the bullpen took over.

Padres reliever Yuki Matsui pitches against the Reds. (KYODO)

Former Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles pitcher Yuki Matsui, who's in his first MLB season, was the fourth of five Padres relievers to pitch after Darvish's departure. Matsui, 28, worked 1⅔ scoreless innings.

"Yuki was great," Padres manager Mike Shildt said, according to The Associated Press. "Quality strikes, pitches in the zone. He did a nice job tonight."

Ex-Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks and Hanshin Tigers reliever Robert Suarez then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 10th save of the season.

Darvish said he was focused on helping the Padres halt their losing streak.

"Obviously, you are in there trying to get us out of the funk, so that is the mentality — let's stop the losing streak right here," Darvish was quoted as saying through an interpreter by The Associated Press. "Overall, the ball was coming out right. I had pretty good command for the most part."

He threw 50 of 70 pitches for strikes.

The Padres activated Darvish from the 15-day injured list on Monday. The 37-year-old had been sidelined with a neck strain. He hadn't pitched since April 14.

Yu Darvish
Yu Darvish has 197 career wins, including 104 in MLB. (KYODO)

Rave Reviews for Yu Darvish

Shildt was impressed with Darvish's effort against Cincinnati.

"That was fantastic by Darvish," Shildt said, according to MLB.com. "He was tremendous. We know what we're going to get out of Yu. But, of course, he was on a limited pitch count (75 pitches), and we weren't sure what his innings would look like."

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Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven