Mariners-Rangers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 18, 2013
The Seattle Mariners have had the most success against Yu Darvish in his brief time in the major leagues, but it's all come in their own stadium. Having to face Darvish on the road could produce a different result, especially with the Texas Rangers right-hander pitching on six days' rest. The Mariners handed Darvish his first loss of the season last week, and they'll look to beat him for the first time in three tries in Texas when these teams open a three-game series Friday night. Darvish allowed three runs over 13 2-3 innings in winning his first two starts in 2013 before giving up three runs in the first inning last Friday at Safeco Field. He eventually settled down, striking out eight over six innings, but the Rangers managed six hits in a 3-1 loss. "I didn't feel right the last outing and it kind of carried over. At least I was able to keep us in the game. That was good," Darvish said through an interpreter. "I could have given up many runs in any inning. I just didn't have my stuff today. It just came in the first inning." Darvish dropped to 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in three starts in Seattle since signing with Texas prior to the 2012 season. The only other team to hand Darvish (2-1, 2.75 ERA) more than one loss is Oakland, which has beaten him twice. In fact, Darvish has lost more games in Seattle than he has at Rangers Ballpark. He is 11-2 with a 3.96 ERA in 15 starts at home, going 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA against Seattle. The Mariners (7-10) will also have to deal with Darvish getting an extra day of rest due to the Rangers (9-6) having Wednesday's game in Chicago against the Cubs rained out. Darvish has pitched with at least six days' rest seven times in his career, going 5-1 with a 3.47 ERA. Having Joe Saunders (1-1, 2.08) on the mound could also be a disadvantage for the Mariners. The left-hander did pitch well against the Rangers on Saturday, but he didn't receive a decision in a 3-1 loss despite allowing one unearned run and three hits in seven innings. "It's always frustrating to lose those close ones," Saunders said. "... We just had some things that didn't go our way tonight. Sometimes that happens." That outing wasn't typical for Saunders as he's 3-7 with a 5.79 ERA in 12 regular-season starts against the Rangers. He's been even worse in Texas, losing all six non-postseason starts while posting a 9.38 ERA. Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler is batting .370 (10 for 27) with four home runs and two doubles against Saunders. Kinsler went 2 for 4 and hit his fifth homer Thursday as the Rangers lost 6-2 to the Cubs at wet and windy Wrigley Field. Texas has alternated losses and wins in its last seven games following a 6-2 start. "It's just the way things are going right now," Kinsler said. Seattle enters with some momentum after beating another of the AL's top pitchers Thursday. Kyle Seager hit a pinch-hit, two-out RBI double off Justin Verlander in the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie and help give the Mariners a 2-0 victory over Detroit. Seattle scored two runs in losing the series opener to the Tigers and crossed the plate once in falling in 14 innings Wednesday night. "When you're not pounding the ball like I know we're capable of doing and will do, you've got to take advantage of any opportunity, because there may not be another one coming around," manager Eric Wedge told the Mariners' official website. Seager is 5 for 13 with three doubles against Darvish.
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