4/6/2014 2:25 P.M. ET
In season debut, Darvish fastest starter to 500 K's
Rangers ace comes off DL, reaches milestone with two strikeouts in first inning
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- Yu Darvish set a Major League record by striking out the first two batters he faced in Sunday's start against the Rays.
Darvish went on to strike out six Rays and pitch seven scoreless innings as the Rangers beat the Rays, 3-0, at Tropicana Field.
The two strikeouts gave Darvish 500 for his career in 401 2/3 innings. The Rangers' right-hander becomes the fastest pitcher as a starter to ever reach 500 strikeouts as far as number of innings it took to get there. Kerry Wood held the old record by doing it in 404 2/3 innings. Mark Prior did it in 421 2/3 innings and Stephen Strasburg did so in 426 1/3 innings.
Darvish was activated off the disabled list before the game. He had been sidelined with stiffness in his neck that forced him to miss his Opening Day start against the Phillies.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.