Rangers manager defends heavy use of Yu Darvish

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington is defending his use of Yu Darvish after the right-hander threw a career-high 130 pitches Thursday night against Detroit.

Washington left the Japanese ace in the game to face Tigers sluggers Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez in the eighth inning even though the Rangers led 10-4.

Darvish threw 127 pitches two starts earlier on May 6 against Boston, and Washington said Friday that the major league strikeout leader is fine despite the heavy workload.

Washington also says Darvish was needed to pick up a weary Rangers bullpen that threw 10 1-3 innings during a three-game series in Oakland earlier this week.

Darvish is 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA this season. He is tied for most wins in the majors and has 86 strikeouts.

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