(Monday, April 9th)
Final Score: Texas 11, Seattle 5
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - It was a rough start for Yu Darvish, but he settled down to pitch into the sixth inning and the bats picked him up as Texas clobbered Seattle, 11-5, in the opener of a three-game set.
After a fee of $51.7 million to Japan's Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and a six-year, $60 million contract in the offseason, Darvish (1-0) was torched for four runs in the first inning, but settled down to finish his start giving up five runs on eight hits with four walks and five strikeouts over 5 2/3 frames.
Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz each hit a three-run home run while Mitch Moreland added a two-run home run and two runs scored for the Rangers, who took two of three from the White Sox to start the season.
Kyle Seager went 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored while Ichiro Suzuki added three hits and two runs scored for the Mariners, who took a pair of games from Oakland on Friday and Saturday. Hector Noesi (0-1) was banged up for seven runs on six hits with three walks over just three-plus innings of work.
"You can't give anybody outs at this level, especially these guys," Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan said about the Rangers. "Every single guy can hit the ball out of the yard and they don't seem to foul those pitches off. They hit the barrel."
It was an inauspicious beginning to Darvish's career as the Mariners batted around in their first at-bat.
With the bases loaded and one out, Seager smoked a single to center to plate two and Miguel Olivo later singled home a run with the bases loaded. Munenori Kawasaki worked a walk to force home a run, but Darvish struck out Ryan and got Chone Figgins to ground out and end the frame.
Michael Young and Cruz each hit an RBI single in the bottom of the first to get Texas on the board, but Seager added an RBI double in the second to play Suzuki for a 5-2 advantage.
Darvish again faced trouble in the third when he put two men on with one out, but he got the next two batters and worked 1-2-3 fourth and fifth innings.
The offense, meanwhile, got things going as Cruz punched a three-run home run in the third to tie the game, Moreland hit a two-run shot in the fourth and Josh Hamilton added a solo shot later in the frame for an 8-5 advantage.
Darvish's night was over with two outs and two men on in the sixth and he was replaced by Alexi Ogando, who struck out Justin Smoak to end the frame.
"It probably wasn't the start he wanted but he battled through it, showed us a lot of guts, got us into the sixth inning and kept us in a spot to win the game," Moreland said about Darvish.
Kinsler smacked a three-run shot in the eighth and Scott Feldman pitched a scoreless ninth to cap the win.
Darvish was 18-6 with a 1.44 earned run average last season in Japan...Texas won 15 of 19 from Seattle last season...The Mariners left 11 men on base.
04/10 01:32:41 ET