Mariners Win 4th Straight, Beat Rangers 6-1

Seattle MarinersYu DarvishSportsFelix HernandezMichael SaundersBaseballSafeco Field

Yu Darvish has made the transition from Japan to the Major Leagues look relatively easy with his electric fastballs and devastating breaking balls. Yet ask the Mariners, and they'd probably vote to face off against the Rangers right-hander every possible chance.

For the second time this season, the Mariners jumped all over Darvish early, forced him to throw a lot of pitches and ultimately exit the game early. Unlike the first matchup, though, the Mariners were able make the Rangers pay for Darvish's poor start on Monday night, beating Texas, 6-1, at Safeco Field.

While Darvish was struggling, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was not. Hernandez bounced back from two consecutive rough outings to allow only three runners to reach scoring position in eight innings of one-run ball. Back in the friendly confines of the pitcher-friendly Safeco, the righty tamed a potent Rangers offense with seven strikeouts while walking just two.

It is the fifth time in 10 starts this season that Hernandez has lasted eight innings and the eighth time he has struck out at least six.

It was Hernandez's first victory over the Rangers since the end of the 2010 season. He was 0-4 with a 5.04 ERA against them last season.

The Mariners were patient at the plate, earning six walks from Darvish in his four innings, making the righty throw 96 pitches before he exited. A base on balls is exactly how the Mariners got on the board early. After Michael Saunders drew a four-pitch walk in the first, Ichiro Suzuki tripled down the right-field line to bring him home.

Ichiro again came through for the Mariners in the third. With runners at first and second, he flared a single into shallow left-center to score Dustin Ackley from second. Josh Hamilton tried to throw out Saunders at third, but sailed the ball into the Rangers dugout.

The throwing error scored Saunders and advanced Ichiro, who scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Jesus Montero to increase the Seattle lead to 4-0.

Darvish escaped big trouble in the fourth when he walked the bases loaded to begin the frame. But all the Mariners were able to plate was a single run, as Darvish escaped the jam with a pair of fielder's choices and a strikeout.

{courtesy: Josh Liebeskind, MLB.com}

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