San Diego Padres right-hander Darvish Yu (37) welcomed the arrival of Baltimore Orioles closer Shintaro Fujinami (29).

바카라 Darvish started the game against the Orioles at Petco Park in San Diego, California, on April 15, giving up four runs on eight hits (one home run) in seven innings with one walk and six strikeouts. Despite the loss, Darvish struck out 1919 batters in his major league career, surpassing Hideo Nomo (1918) for the most strikeouts by a Japanese major leaguer.

Japanese media outlet Full Count reported, “Darvish surpassed Nomo to set the record for most strikeouts by a Japanese major leaguer. After the game, he said, ‘I’m very happy,’ referring to Fujinami, who has been pitching well for his new team.”

[Photo] Shintaro Fujinami of the Baltimore Orioles. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

Fujinami signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal with Oakland this year. In Oakland, he was given the opportunity to start as he wanted, but he struggled and was relegated to the bullpen, going 5-8 with an 8.57 ERA in 34 games (49⅓ innings). Eventually, Fujinami was traded to Baltimore on May 20.

Since moving to Baltimore, Fujinami has been even better than he was in Oakland. In 11 games (11 1/3 innings), he has a 1-0 record with one save and a 4.76 ERA. He earned his first career save against Seattle on April 14.

[Photo] Darvish Yu of the San Diego Padres. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

According to Full Count, “Darvish often trained with Fujinami when he was at Hanshin. He is one of the cute juniors for Darvish,” shedding light on the relationship between Darvish and Fujinami.

Darvish said he was “happy” with Fujinami’s performance, adding, “At the beginning of the season, he was struggling so much that we had a few calls on the line. He’s been getting better and better since then, and for him to move to a (strong) team means he’s really being recognized. I’m very happy,” he said.

Darvish, who lamented that “it’s been a long period of struggle so far,” wished the junior Fujinami continued success, saying, “It’s not like I’m crying when I see her boldly throwing to the catcher, but it’s a similar feeling.”

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