Washington picks Darvish as first playoff starter

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Yu Darvish will start the Texas Rangers' first playoff game — whenever and wherever that may be.

Manager Ron Washington announced before the regular-season finale at Oakland on Wednesday. The two-time reigning AL champion Rangers went into the final tied atop the AL West with the Oakland Athletics, so Darvish would either open a best-of-five AL division series or pitch a one-game wild-card playoff.

The 26-year-old is 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 29 starts and 191 1-3 innings in his first major league season after a stellar career in Japan. The 6-foot-5 right-hander has 221 strikeouts to just 89 walks and was an All-Star.

He won his final four decisions and hasn't lost in six starts since Aug. 17.

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