ARLINGTON, Texas -- With Yu Darvish having done his part in getting the Texas Rangers off to a good start in their three-game series with Seattle, someone might want to cue up Irving Berlin as Cole Hamels takes the hill for game two on Tuesday.
"Anything you can do I can do better."
"It's not just me against Cole Hamels," Darvish said of any friendly competition in the Texas clubhouse after the Texas right-hander went 6 2/3 innings in a 6-3 win on Monday. "It's all the starters.
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"I made a rule that on that week whoever had the least innings cannot say anything. The one who has the most innings can mess with them."
Last week it was Hamels who won bragging rights.
Texas' lefty will make his 27th start of the season seeking his 15th victory -- against four defeats -- and having posted quality starts in seven of his eight starts since the All-Star break. He's 5-2 with a 1.59 ERA with 58 strikeouts during that span. In addition, he's 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts against Seattle.
Healthy rivalries aside, the Rangers have a decided advantage against just about anyone with Darvish and Hamels at the top of a rotation.
"It's huge to have your 1 and 2 go back to back," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "To have the comfort to know you have two veteran guys at the front of the rotation to start a series and manage the games for us, their stuff, what they mean to this club. Obviously, they have to pitch well.
"Yu set the table tonight. It's a big plus to have those two guys at the front of the rotation."
Tuesday's game is the second of 25 consecutive games against the AL West for Texas, which enters the game 8 1/2 up on Houston and 9 1/2 up on the Mariners. Seattle is at the start of 19 straight against the division. Texas has won eighth of its last 10 against Seattle.
Lefty James Paxton (4-5) will go for the Mariners in his second start since being activated from the disabled list (elbow contusion) on Aug. 25. He took a no-decision in his last outing on the road against the White Sox. He gave up three runs in the first but followed with four shutout innings.
Seattle is seeking to snap a three-game losing streak. The Mariners have lost six of season.
Despite being down 6-1 to Texas, the Mariners let their best chance slip away on Monday.
They were able to get Darvish out of the game in the seventh and had runners on first and third with two outs.
Texas relievers had trouble recording the last out.
Seattle pinch-hitter Franklin Gutierrez's double off lefty Jake Diekman scored two. Robinson Cano followed with a walk with slugger Nelson Cruz coming to the plate.
Texas right-hander Keone Kela, though working Cruz to 3-2, struck out the slugger to end the inning, and he retired the side in order in the eighth.
"We had a chance to turn it around and I wasn't able to deliver," Cruz said. "We haven't got it where we want it as an offensive team.
"They beat us (Monday). We have two more games so we should step up tomorrow."