This one is all but over after Jesus Montero doubled home Kyle Seager in the seventh inning. Mitch Moreland finally got to Felix Hernandez for a solo homer in the eighth to cut Seattle’s lead to 6-1.
But with three outs to go, a comeback seems unlikely.
Hernandez gave up the home run, then a single to Ian Kinsler on his 103rd pitch. Elvis Andrus was up next and it looked like that would be Hernandez’s final batter since left-handed hitting Josh Hamilton was on-deck with southpaw Lucas Luetge warming in the bullpen.
But Andrus grounded one back to Hernandez to start a 1-6-3 double play. With no runners on, the M’s left Hernandez in there and he fanned Hamilton for his seventh strikeout of the night.
Was probably Hernandez’s final inning.
By the way, the Rangers have confirmed that Scott Feldman is their probable starter for Wednesday after Neftali Feliz was scratched from his scheduled start and placed on the 15-day DL.
8:23 p.m.: The Mariners scored a fifth run in the fourth inning to go up 5-0 and knock Yu Darvish from the game after that. It could have been much worse, as the bases were still loaded with none out when that run crossed the plate.
But two fielder’s choice grounders and outs at home plate, along with a called third strike on Kyle Seager ended that threat. Still, Yarvish was done after that. He walked three more batters that inning — six on the night — and now needs the Rangers’ hitting cavalry to bail him out of a loss like they did for him in Texas the last time these squads hooked up.
If the Rangers somehow pull that off against Felix Hernandez, that last inning by the Mariners will be used as a prime example of how they failed to finish a team off.
8:23 p.m.: Ichiro came through with a key hit in that third inning as the Mariners scored three off Yu Darvish to take a 4-0 lead. There were two on with one out when Ichiro singled to center for his first RBI with runners in scoring position in a week — as well as his first RBI on a hit with RISP since May 8. But a second run scored on the play when center fielder Josh Hamilton air-mailed a throw to third base that sailed a good 10 feet over Adrian Beltre’s head and into the visitors’ dugout.
Ichiro took third on the error and scored on a long Jesus Montero sacrifice fly to center.
Darvish is once again hurting himself with walks against the M’s. He just issued two more freebies to start the bottom of the fourth. That’s five walks by Darvish already tonight. Good thing we wrote that post about the Mariners and their low walk rates this morning!
7:28 p.m.: Rangers starter Yu Darvish struck out the side in the first inning, though not quite the way he wanted to because he walked Michael Saunders with one out and then allowed a triple down the right field line by Ichiro. The ball hit a side wall and stopped dead, giving right fielder Nelson Cruz that much further to have to run to get to it.
By the time he did, it was 1-0 for the Mariners.
Darvish has now allowed five runs to the Mariners in two first innings this season.
7:05 p.m.: The Mariners nearly knocked Yu Darvish out of the game the very first inning in his MLB ebut last month. Instead, he survived, went on to throw 5 2/3 frames and emerged with the victory despite allowing five runs.
Darvish got hurt by walking four batters in that game. The Mariners usually don’t walk all that much, as we discussed this morning.
So, as we like to say, this one should be interesting. By the way, they’ve decided to open the roof for the game after having it closed up to now.
A reminder, you can stay tuned here for updates and also check in at my @gbakermariners Twitter feed.
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Michael Young
LF David Murphy
RF Nelson Cruz
C Mike Napoli
1B Mitch Moreland
RHP Yu Darvish
2B Dustin Ackley
CF Michael Saunders
3B Kyle Seager
DH Jesus Montero
1B Justin Smoak
C John Jaso
LF Mike Carp
SS Brendan Ryan
RHP Felix Hernandez