Rangers to give Yu Darvish home opener start

Manager Ron Washington said he informed Yu Darvish on Tuesday morning that the right-hander from Japan will start the home opener on March 31.

Starter went 13-9 for Texas in 2013 with 277 strikeouts

Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish delivers to the plate in an intrasquad game Monday in Surprise, Ariz. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)

Yu Darvish will be the opening day starter for the Rangers.

Manager Ron Washington says he informed Darvish on Tuesday morning that the right-hander from Japan will start March 31 against Philadelphia at home.

Darvish is going into his third major league season. He started the second game last season, when he came within one out of a perfect game against Houston. He went on to lead the majors with 277 strikeouts and finish second in the AL Cy Young Award voting.

The last Rangers starter with consecutive opening day starts was Kevin Millwood from 2006 to 2009.

Darvish will be the sixth different opening day starter in six years for Texas. Matt Harrison started last year's opener.