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Baseball: Ex-MLB pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma to retire at end of season

Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, left, chats with Suzuki Ichiro after throwing the ceremonial first pitch for a game against the Oakland Athletics in Seattle on Sept. 26, 2018. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Yomiuri Giants pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who has a combined 170 wins over his career in Japan and the major leagues, plans to retire at the end of the season, his club announced Monday.

    Iwakuma returned to Nippon Professional Baseball in 2019 after six years with the Seattle Mariners but has yet to pitch for the Giants' top team due to lingering shoulder issues following a 2017 surgery that derailed his career in the majors.

    The 39-year-old plans to speak at a press conference on Friday.

    Before going overseas, Iwakuma had a standout career with the Kintetsu Buffaloes, now the Orix Buffaloes, and Rakuten Eagles, going 107-69 with a 3.25 ERA in 226 games between 2001 and 2011.

    In 2008, the right-hander was named the Pacific League MVP for earning 21 wins and was given the Sawamura Award as Japan's most outstanding starting pitcher.

    Iwakuma joined the Mariners in 2012 and racked up 63 wins over his time with the club including a no-hitter in 2015. He spent the entire 2018 season in the minors following shoulder surgery and was acquired by the Giants in the offseason after turning down a coaching role with Seattle.

    He went 63-39 with a 3.42 ERA over 150 games in the majors.

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