Yu Darvish was lifted from his third start since Tommy John surgery Wednesday after five innings and only 76 pitches because of shoulder tightness during his final inning.
The team said that Darvish was removed as a precaution and that an initial exam by Dr. Keith Meister showed no issues. Darvish was working on a limit of 95 pitches.
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TV replays showed Darvish shaking his right arm after throwing a 63-mph curveball to strike out George Springer. After a walk to Jose Altuve, athletic trainer Kevin Harmon, pitching coach Doug Brocail and interpreter Hide Sato went to the mound.
Darvish threw a few warm-up pitches, stayed in the game and retired Carlos Correa on a deep drive to right field. Shawn Tolleson replaced Darvish to start the sixth.
Darvish allowed one run, on a leadoff homer by Springer, on three hits and four walks. He struck out seven.