Padres to give ball to Darvish on Opening Day


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Yu Darvish will make his second straight Opening Day start for the San Diego Padres when they visit the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 7.

New manager Bob Melvin made the decision to go with the right-handed Darvish, who was 8-11 last season with a 4.22 ERA. His late-season fade in 2021 mirrored the rest of the Padres, who spent a lot of money during the offseason, started the season with high hopes but ended with a disappointing 79-83 record, far behind the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 35-year-old Darvish hopes to return to his 2020 form, when he was 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA and finished second in the NL Cy Young Award voting. He’s had a good start to the spring, striking out 10 batters over seven innings while giving up just one earned run in the Cactus League.

The five-time All-Star also started on Opening Day for the Texas Rangers in 2017.

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