SURPRISE, AZ (AP) – Yu Darvish, who has led the Japanese League in strikeouts and ERA the past two years, will make his first spring training start for the Texas Rangers on March 7.

The team announced the decision Monday. Darvish will face the San Diego Padres in Peoria, Ariz.

Darvish threw 34 pitches to two minor leaguers in batting practice Monday, his third session off the mound. The 25-year-old right-hander posted a 93-38 record with a 1.99 ERA in seven seasons in Japan.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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