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Darvish beats Yankees, Wada gets 1st win

July 29, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas ace Yu Darvish celebrated demonstratively after escaping a seventh-inning jam and putting the Rangers on course for a 4-2 win over the New York Yankees on Monday.

The Japanese pitcher earlier gave up a homer to Brett Gardner for the third time in a week, so his relief was understandable when he escaped the inning with Gardner and Derek Jeter both left on base.

After producing the key strikeout, Darvish shouted out and pumped his fist several times coming off the mound.

“I’m just glad they didn’t tie the game,” Darvish said through his translator about his rare emphatic response. “It was late in the game, and it was a close game, and it got close to a win, so I just showed emotions because of that.”

Darvish (10-6) struck out eight in seven innings, the biggest coming when Brian McCann swung and missed to end the seventh.

“That was an example of his competitive juices,” manager Ron Washington said. “Once he got out of that inning, he should show excitement. I’m glad he did, because it was a tense time.”

Darvish and currently-injured Yankee Masahiro Tanaka have led the way for Japanese players in the U.S. major leagues this season, but the unheralded Tsuyoshi Wada created headlines of his own on Monday by notching his first majors win.

After nine seasons in Japan and three years in the minor leagues, Chicago Cubs starter Wada (1-1) finally picked up that elusive first win.

Wada (1-1) pitched seven strong innings as the Cubs defeated Colorado 4-1.

“I’m so happy for him,” catcher John Baker said about Wada’s first win. “It’s great, when you’re having a tough season like we’re having, to have little victories like that.”

In only his third career start in the majors, Wada cut through the Colorado lineup, allowing one run. It was a marked contrast from his previous start, when he lasted just four innings and gave up five runs in a loss to San Diego.

“He executed pitches, got some big outs when he needed to and got out of traffic that developed late,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He did a nice job and gave us some innings.”

The 33-year-old Wada won 107 games over nine seasons in Japan. He signed a two-year deal with Baltimore two seasons ago but injured his elbow soon after joining the club and underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2012. He signed with the Cubs in December 2013.

“It’s the second time I pitched in Chicago, so it was a little more relaxed,” Wada said through a translator. “I’m happy about this first win.”

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