Toronto – Former Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles teammates Masahiro Tanaka and Hisashi Iwakuma are scheduled to start against each other for the first time Sunday, when the New York Yankees host the Seattle Mariners.
The two right-handers played together at Rakuten from 2007 to 2011. They would be the first former teammates in Japan to pitch against each other in the major leagues.
Tanaka and Iwakuma were set to square off in June 2014, but Tanaka’s start was pushed back after the Yankees’ game a day earlier was washed out.
Japanese starters have previously met each other 11 times in the majors, the June 2013 duel between former Yankee Hiroki Kuroda and Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers being the most recent. Neither received a decision.
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