That's a pretty solid win for the Seattle Mariners. They got a strong pitching performance from Felix Hernandez, who snapped a personal two-game losing streak, by throwing eight innings, allowing one run on six hits and striking out seven while walking two. Against a lineup that features Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz and about two other hitters the Mariners would gladly take, that's a solid outing.
Before the game, Mariners manager Eric Wedge was confident that Hernandez would be solid. And he didn't disappoint.
“That’s just him,” Wedge said. “A great performance by Felix, he just really commanded the ball game throughout. He did a great job of going out and shutting them out after we would score.”
Of course, having better than average run support from a normal offense, and way better than average run support from the Mariners offense, certainly helped.
Seattle handed the high-praised and higher-paid Yu Darvish the worst start of his young career, scoring five runs (four earned) on four hits, drawing six walks and knocking him out of the game in the fourth inning.
“We were just being patient and looking for our pitch,” said Dustin Ackley, who had an RBI single off of Darvish in the fourth inning. “He didn’t locate it as much as he would like and our guys didn’t miss the pitches we did get to hit.
Basically, the Mariners were putting together good quality at-bats. Even Mike Carp’s strikeout in the second inning forced Darvish into 10 pitches thrown.
"Our guys did a good job laying off some pitches and get into some deep counts," Wedge said.
Ichiro Suzuki drove in a pair of runs. He had a first-inning triple that scored Michael Saunders and then later delivered an RBI single in the three-run third inning. While he won't say it, Ichiro takes great pride in not only facing fellow Japanese players, but besting them - particularly with the hype surrounding Darvish. In two games, Ichiro is 5-for-7 against Darvish with a double and triple and two runs batted in.
“Obviously it was tougher the first time, but I’m not saying it was easier the second time,” Ichiro said through translator Antony Suzuki about facing Darvish.
Said Rangers manager Ron Washington: “He had good velocity; he just didn’t throw the ball in the strike zone. It’s one loss, we’ll move on. Tonight was Felix’s night, it wasn’t Darvish’s. I let him know that we wouldn’t be sending him out after the 4th inning; it was a lot of pitches in a short amount of time. We need him for the rest of the year, this was just one game. You just need to take it, move on and learn what you can. He apologized; he expected more, but I told him he didn’t have to apologize- that’s just the game of baseball.”
- Yu Darvish has a 8.38 ERA (9 ER, 9.2 IP) with 10 walks and 10 strikeouts against the Mariners this season…against the rest of the league is 5-1, 1.94 ERA (10 ER, 46.1 IP) with 53 strikeouts.
- Mitch Moreland’s home run in the 8th inning extended the Rangers home run streak to 15 games, the longest in the Majors this season and the 4th longest in club history…longest streak since 27-game streak Aug. 11-Sept. 9, 2002.
- David Murphy extended his hitting streak to 6 games…during the streak he is batting .316 (6x19) with 4 runs, 1 double, 2 home runs and 5 RBI.
- Seattle has won a season-high tying four straight games (also: April 24-27)…Mariners have scored 26 runs during the four game winning streak, an average of 6.5 runs per game.
- Felix Hernandez recorded his Major League leading 6th start of at least 7.0 innings while allowing one earned run or less…now has 5 starts of at least 8.0 innings while allowing one earned run or less.
- Felix Hernandez’s win snapped a personal four game losing streak against the Rangers…was 0-4, 5.04 ERA (14 ER, 25.0 IP) against the Rangers in 2011…last defeated Texas Sept. 28, 2010 in Arlington.
- Seattle pitching staff limited opponent to just one run for the 9th time this season, T2nd most in the American League with Toronto and just behind Chicago (10).
- Ichiro went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI tonight against Yu Darvish…in two games against Darvish is batting .714 (5x7) with a double, triple and two RBI.
- The Mariners have recorded a triple in four straight games, tied for the second longest streak in club history (also: July 7-11, 1979)…collected triple in club record five straight April 20-24, 2002.
- Miguel Olivo went 1-for-3 with a run scored in his first rehab start with Tacoma in Iowa where he started at catcher.
- Ichiro has 290 career hits vs. Texas since beginning his MLB career in 2001…only George Brett (291/21 seasons) has collected more knocks vs. the Rangers since the team moved to Texas in 1972