After three dubious starts, Yu Darvish finally dominated the Mariners Friday night, allowing a run on two hits over seven innings in a 9-3 Texas victory over Seattle in Arlington, TX.
A 2-1 lead by Texas blew up with seven runs in the eighth against the Mariners bullpen, which had been stout recently. Three walks and a throwing error by second baseman Dustin Ackley helped an already potent Texas lineup tear up the inning, which climaxed with a bases-loaded triple by Elvis Andrus, who led off the inning with a double.
Chief victim was Stephen Pryor, who took 30 pitches in the eighth to get two outs, while giving up four runs (one earned).
The intriguing match-up between Darvish and his Japanese countryman, Hisashi Iwakuma, entertained the crowd of 45,075 for awhile. The Seattle starter gave up a home run to Texas's first batter, Ian Kinsler, and another solo shot in the third, this one an upper-deck blast by to Jason Hamilton, his 42nd of the season. Iwakuma lasted 5.1 innings and gave up four hits and two runs, with four strikeouts and a walk.
The Mariners got one back in the fourth when Michael Saunders drew a 12-pitch walk. Kyle Seager doubled over the head of Hamilton, who had the ball skip off the tip of his glove into the center field wall. After a strikeout by John Jaso, a sacrifice fly by Montero brought home Saunders.
Darvish, introducing a slow curve that consistently left the Mariners off balance, struck out nine in seven innings and 110 pitches. In 16 innings over three previous starts against Seattle, Darvish was 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA, giving up 14 hits and 14 walks. In his last game against the Mariners in Seattle July 14 , he gave up seven run on eight hits.
The Mariners picked up two runs in the ninth on a leadoff homer by Saunders, and single by Mike Carp that brought home Seager, who doubled.