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Kohei Arihara Takes Loss In First MLB Start Since September 2021

The Texas Rangers right-hander allowed three runs in 5⅔ innings against the AL West rival Oakland A’s.

A day after Tony Beasley was named the Texas Rangers’ interim manager, Kohei Arihara made his first start for the MLB club this season on Tuesday, August 16.

Arihara, who spent most of the season with the Triple-A Round Rock Express, allowed a single run in each of the first three innings and left the game after tossing 93 pitches in 5⅔ innings against the visiting Oakland A’s at Globe Life Field.

The Rangers trailed 3-0 at that point. Texas lost 5-1 after winning Beasley’s first game in charge on Monday in the series opener against Oakland.

With the loss, the Rangers, who are in third place in the American League West, dropped to 52-64. The A’s are 42-75, the worst record in the AL.

“I thought he (Arihara) threw the ball very well,” Beasley, who replaced the fired Chris Woodward as manager, told reporters, according to The Associated Press. “I thought the first inning, he [gave up] the little base hits that just had eyes. He had some unfortunate things happen.”

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Murphy Tags Arihara for Long Blast

In the third inning, Arihara yielded a leadoff home run to A’s catcher Sean Murphy, a 454-foot (138.3-meter) blast to center field. It was Murphy’s 14th homer of the season.

Arihara, 30, retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth innings. He gave up eight hits, walked three and struck out six.

In Arihara’s view, it was a performance to build off of.

"I started badly but was able to turn things around and persevere with my pitching," Arihara said after the game, according to Kyodo News.

Looking ahead, Arihara said he expects to improve in his next mound appearance.

“I know that next time I go out there I can do better,” Arihara was quoted as saying by The Dallas Morning News through an interpreter, “and I will do better.”

Career Background

Arihara pitched for the NPB’s Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters from 2015-20, compiling a 60-50 record and a 3.24 ERA. He was 2-4 with a 6.64 ERA for the Rangers in 2021. (The Fighters rebranded before the 2022 season, changing their name to Nipponham at the outset of the Big Boss era, with new manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo at the helm.)

Before getting the starting assignment against the A’s, Arihara appeared in 18 games (14 starts) for the Pacific Coast League's Round Rock Express this season. The right-hander was 3-6 with a 4.88 ERA in 72 innings and 63 strikeouts.

Arihara, in the second year of a two-year contract with the Rangers, underwent surgery to repair an aneurysm in his pitching shoulder on May 27, 2021. He then made three starts for the Rangers last September to close out the season.

Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward’s [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven.

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