Arlington, TX – Yu Darvish tossed seven strong innings and Elvis Andrus had three RBI as the Texas Rangers downed the Seattle Mariners, 9-3, in the opener of a three-game series on Friday.
Darvish (15-9) allowed one run on two hits and two walks. He also struck out nine to give him 205 strikeouts for the season, making him 16th rookie since 1900 to record 200 strikeouts.
Josh Hamilton homered and knocked in two runs, while Ian Kinsler also hit a home run for the AL West-leading Rangers, who have won three of their last four.
"He throws so many different pitches for strikes, when he throws strikes, that you don't know what to expect," Hamilton said about Darvish. "It's fun to watch."
Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5) surrendered two runs on seven hits and a walk through 5 1/3 innings for Seattle, which dropped two straight and six of its last nine.
"We don't quit and we are not going to hang our heads," Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders said. "Over the course of a year, things like this are going to happen."
Texas jumped out to an early lead in its first at-bat as Kinsler led off the bottom of the first inning with a ball to left-center field that was initially ruled a double off the top of the wall, but a review showed the hit struck a chair behind the wall and bounced back into the field, giving Kinsler a home run.
Hamilton gave the Rangers a 2-0 advantage in the third inning with a solo shot into the second deck in right field.
Seattle cut into its deficit in the fourth after Saunders led off the frame by working a 12-pitch walk and advanced to third on a Kyle Seager double to deep center field that bounced off the tip of Hamilton's glove.
Two batters later, Jesus Montero lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Saunders before Mike Carp grounded out to first to end the inning and strand Seager at third base.
Texas would then strand a runner on second base in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but was able to put the game out of reach with a seven- run eighth, starting with back-to-back doubles by Andrus and Hamilton.
A pair of walks by Adrian Beltre and Michael Young would load the bases with one out, and Hamilton crossed the plate on a Dustin Ackley throwing error to home on a David Murphy grounder to second.
Geovany Soto's double off the left-field wall scored Beltre and Young before Mitch Moreland worked a walk to fill the bags again.
Following a Kinsler strikeout, Andrus cleared the bases with a triple to right-center field for a 9-1 advantage.
Saunders' leadoff home run to right-center field and Montero's RBI single in the ninth inning accounted for the final margin.
Kinsler's homer was his 17th of the season, while Hamilton recorded his 42nd ... Saunders hit his 15th home run of the year ... Darvish improved to 2-2 in four starts against Seattle ... Iwakuma fell to 0-2 in three career appearances (two starts) against the Rangers ... Texas leads the season series between the teams, 8-6.