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Darvish whiffs 10 for Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- An unbeatable combination for the Texas Rangers -- another 10-strikeout game by Yu Darvish and finally a big inning for their hitters.

Darvish had his 10th career 10-strikeout game, in his 33rd start in the major leagues, and the Rangers had a six-run inning that doubled their previous highest-scoring frame of the year in a 7-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

"We know what we're capable of as an offense. You can't do that every night," said Ian Kinsler, whose RBI double capped that breakthrough inning. "That was big for Yu, and big for our club. I think we all want to get it going earlier."

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The way Darvish (3-1) pitched, Jeff Baker's two-out solo homer in the second off Joe Saunders (1-2) would have been more than enough for the Rangers, whose seven runs overall matched a season high.

In his first start in a week, Darvish allowed only three hits and walked three over seven scoreless innings.

Darvish had last started the previous Friday night at Seattle, when he gave up three runs in the first inning of a 3-1 loss. The Rangers had planned in advance to skip the Japanese ace's scheduled start at the Chicago Cubs because of the cool weather -- and the game that would have been his turn to pitch ended up being rained out anyway.

"I don't know if that many days of rest affected my pitching," Darvish said through his translator. "But I'd rather have pitched today than yesterday in cold weather in Chicago."

Seattle, the only team that has beaten Darvish three times, has now gone 12 innings in a row without a run against right-hander from Japan.

"He threw more curveballs than he did in Seattle. He also threw more fastballs. He didn't a really good fastball [in Seattle]. Tonight, he threw a lot more for strikes," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "Yu has so many pitches and they're all good. It's hard to pick one."

Darvish said he finally got command of his fastball after the second inning, after he already had six strikeouts, and had a different style than his previous start against the Mariners. He threw 42 pitches those first two innings, with two walks and a single scattered between all the whiffs.

In the AL wild-card playoff game at Texas last October, Saunders pitched into the sixth and won for the Baltimore Orioles in their 5-1 victory over Darvish. But the left-hander is now 0-7 with a 9.91 ERA in seven regular-season starts at Rangers Ballpark, the first six for the Los Angeles Angels.

Saunders allowed seven runs and nine hits over 4 2/3 innings this time. He walked three with no strikeouts and was gone after Craig Gentry's two-run triple in the fifth.

"It was a weird game, weird innings where you make a pitch and they find a hole," Saunders said. "You tell yourself to keep making pitches and keep hitting spots and things will turn around. Things just kind of started snowballing on us."

The Rangers loaded the bases in the fifth on two singles and a walk before Pierzynski snapped a 4-for-25 skid with a two-run single. Another run scored when David Murphy grounded out before Gentry sent a drive that rolled to the wall after left fielder Raul Ibanez slipped and fell when trying to field the ball that then bounced over his head. Gentry scored on Kinsler's hit off reliever Hector Noesi.

The Mariners had 13 strikeouts overall, and have 44 their last three games. They had 19 strikeouts Wednesday against Detroit, and followed with 12 more on Thursday.

Robbie Ross got all three of his outs on strikeouts in his scoreless inning after relieving Darvish, even as Seattle loaded the bases.

Michael Kirkman pitched the ninth to close out the Rangers' third shutout of the season. Seattle was held scoreless for the first time this season.

The first Seattle out not a strikeout came with speedy Endy Chavez leading off the third. Chavez tried to bunt for a hit, but Darvish bounced off the mound for a barehanded grab of the ball in front of Gold Glove-winning third baseman Adrian Beltre and threw out Chavez by a step.

Asked about that play, Darvish had a slight grin responding, "I think I was better than Beltre, what do you think about that?"

Notes

  • Texas, which lost 6-2 at Chicago on Thursday, and Atlanta are the only teams without consecutive losses this season.
  • Seattle hasn't won consecutive games since starting the season 2-0.
  • Murphy was mired in a 4-for-31 slump before a pair of opposite-field hits that preceded his RBI grounder.
  • CF Franklin Gutierrez was out of the Mariners starting lineup for a second straight game with tightness in his groin though he felt better.
  • Seattle 3B Kyle Seager had his majors-leading ninth double.
  • Gentry had two hits in 16 at-bats before a bloop to right-center with two outs in the fourth that he turned into a double. That was an inning before his triple.
  • Seattle OF Michael Saunders, who has been on the disabled list since April 11 with a sprained right shoulder, took batting practice Friday and may resume throwing in the next couple of days.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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In his 33rd start in the majors, Yu Darvish records his 10th game with double-digit strikeouts.  (Getty Images)
In his 33rd start in the majors, Yu Darvish records his 10th game with double-digit strikeouts. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Texas

Y. Darvish
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 3
K 10
Seattle

H. Noesi
IP 3.1
H 1
ER 0
BB 0
K 2
 
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Endy Chavez, CF4000021 .250
Kyle Seager, 3B4010021 .219
Kendrys Morales, 1B3010001 .262
Michael Morse, RF3000101 .246
Justin Smoak, DH3010125 .213
Raul Ibanez, LF3000022 .182
   a- Jason Bay, PH1010000 .219
Kelly Shoppach, C3000122 .333
Dustin Ackley, 2B3000012 .145
   b- Brendan Ryan, PH1000001 .163
Robert Andino, SS3010021 .172
Totals31050313  
a-singled for Ibanez in the 9th
b-grounded into a double play for Ackley in the 9th
Batting
2B - Kyle Seager (9, Darvish)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Robert Andino (1, Misplayed grounder)
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Saunders (L,1-2) 4.2977301 4.50
Hector Noesi 3.1100020 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 95-53, Hector Noesi 38-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 10-5, Hector Noesi 3-5
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 27, Hector Noesi 11
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B5011002 .300
Elvis Andrus, SS5000002 .206
Lance Berkman, DH3110111 .385
Adrian Beltre, 3B3110101 .237
Nelson Cruz, RF4110002 .295
A.J. Pierzynski, C4112000 .286
Jeff Baker, 1B3211100 .308
    Mitch Moreland, 1B0000000 .163
David Murphy, LF4021000 .175
Craig Gentry, CF4122011 .269
Totals35710732  
Batting
2B - Ian Kinsler (1, Noesi), David Murphy (2, Saunders), Craig Gentry (3, Saunders)
3B - Craig Gentry (2, Saunders)
HR - Jeff Baker (1, Saunders)
RBI - Ian Kinsler (11), A.J. Pierzynski 2 (6), Jeff Baker (2), David Murphy (5), Craig Gentry 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler (4), Jeff Baker (2), Craig Gentry 2 (2)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Andrus-Baker, Beltre-Kinsler-Moreland
E - Ian Kinsler (2, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Yu Darvish (W,3-1) 73003100 2.03
Robbie Ross 1100030 1.35
Michael Kirkman 1100000 6.00
HBP - Morales (by Robbie Ross)
Pitches-Strikes - Yu Darvish 111-69, Robbie Ross 23-16, Michael Kirkman 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yu Darvish 7-3, Robbie Ross 1-0, Michael Kirkman 1-1
Batters Faced - Yu Darvish 26, Robbie Ross 6, Michael Kirkman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36273
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - John Tumpane, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Doug Eddings