Seattle, WA – Hisashi Iwakuma pitched 6 2/3 innings on his 32nd birthday to help the Seattle Mariners take a 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers in the second of four games from Safeco Field.
Iwakuma (2-0) gave up one run on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts while Kyle Seager drove in two runs for the Mariners, who had a three-game losing streak snapped.
"The way he commanded every pitch to both sides of the plate was pretty special," said Seattle catcher Kelly Shoppach about Iwakuma. "He really did keep them off balance. The way he threw the ball tonight was just really impressive, I'm just really happy for him, on his birthday, it was pretty unbelievable."
Yu Darvish (2-1) got the loss after giving up three runs on three hits with a walk and eight strikeouts over six innings for the Rangers, who took a 4-3 win in the series opener on Thursday. Ian Kinsler's home run accounted for the lone run for the team.
"He struggled with his command, mainly of the fastball, but after that first inning he settled in and put up five zeros, he just had trouble getting started early," said Texas manager Ron Washington about Darvish.
Seattle got to Darvish right away to take an early lead. With one out, Jason Bay was hit by a pitch and moved up a base on a wild pitch. After Kendrys Morales singled, Raul Ibanez brought him home with a base hit. Two batters later, Seager doubled home both runners for a 3-0 lead.
Iwakuma went through the Texas lineup without a blemish, but Kinsler greeted him the second time around with his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to left.
Texas left two men on base in the fifth, one in the sixth and stranded another two in the seventh after Stephen Pryor struck out pinch-hitter Craig Gentry to end the inning.
The Rangers left another runner on base in the eighth, but were retired in order in the ninth by Tom Wilhelmsen, who picked up his fourth save of the season.
Darvish is 0-3 with a 7.71 earned run average in three starts at Safeco Field ... Iwakuma is 2-2 with a save in five games (four starts) against the Rangers in his career ... Alexi Ogando pitches for Texas on Saturday and will be opposed by Joe Saunders for Seattle.