ARLINGTON, Texas – After consecutive six-run losses against Texas, the Mariners got to the Rangers’ ace Sunday and earned a long-awaited victory in Arlington.
Kyle Seager drove in three runs with three doubles, Christian Bergman pitched effectively into the sixth inning and the Mariners beat Yu Darvish and the Rangers 7-3.
Danny Valencia’s two-run homer capped a four-run first against Darvish (6-5), and the Mariners beat the right-hander for the first time in eight tries on the road. Seager had RBI doubles in the first, third and eighth innings for Seattle, which won at Texas for the first time in its last nine tries.
“Fortunately they didn’t catch them today,” Seager said. “I thought I had swung all right the previous two days. Today, fortunately I hit it where they weren’t.”
With Seager pacing the offense, Bergman (4-4) permitted four hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings after giving up nine runs in 2 2/3 innings in his last start in Minnesota.
“We needed someone to go out and give us innings, keep us in the ballgame,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He did a really good job mixing his pitches, threw more curveballs and some off-speed stuff to help him out, and it was huge.”
The Rangers pulled within 5-3 against the bullpen in the seventh – an inning that featured a hit batter, three walks, a balk and a wild pitch – but Nick Vincent got Nomar Mazara to fly out with the bases loaded to end the threat.
“Somebody needed to step up and he did,” Servais said of Vincent.
The Mariners tacked on two runs in the eighth against Dario Alvarez.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister was ejected in the second inning by crew chief Joe West after Seattle’s Tyler Smith was awarded first base on a hit-by-pitch on a play that was originally ruled a foul ball.
Darvish was coming off his best outing of the season – one hit and one run allowed in seven innings against Houston on Monday night – and he was one out away from getting out of the first unscathed. Seager’s double scored one run, a second came in on a passed ball and Valencia blasted a 3-1 pitch into the Mariners bullpen in left-center.
“I put myself in situations where the hitter is going to get the pitch that they look for deep in the count,” Darvish said through a translator. “I think that caused me trouble.”
Darvish pitched five innings and gave up five runs, the most he’s allowed in a start since Sept. 17.
Carlos Gomez hit a two-run homer off Bergman in the second inning and finished the series with eight RBIs after returning from the disabled list Friday.
Hernandez due Friday
Felix Hernandez (right shoulder inflammation) will return to the Mariners rotation on Friday against Houston. Hernandez allowed four singles and struck out eight in six shutout innings in his second rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday. Hisashi Iwakuma (right shoulder inflammation) is also expected to return to the rotation during the weekend series.
Seattle returns home to face Detroit in a four-game series, with RHP Sam Gaviglio (3-1, 3.41) making his first career start Monday against the Tigers. Gaviglio is 3-0 in his last four starts.