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Saturday, April 13, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Mariners 3, Rangers 1

By Todd Wills

Yu Darvish struggled early, giving up three runs in the first inning, and the Rangers couldn't rally in a 3-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Friday night at Safeco Field.

Rough beginning: Darvish hit Jason Bay with one out in the top of the first, and the inning unraveled from there. Darvish gave up singles to Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez. But the big blow came from Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager, who has owned Darvish early in his big league career. Seager came up with his fifth hit in 11 at-bats against Darvish, drilling a two-run double to give Seattle a 3-0 first-inning lead.

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Darvish settles down: Darvish, who has been dealing with a blister issue, followed his tough first with five no-hit innings. He had eight strikeouts and a walk. Darvish has a 2.75 ERA in three starts, but he lost for the first time Friday night.

Kinsler goes deep again: Ian Kinsler upped his team lead in home runs to four for the season with a solo shot in the top of the fourth. Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma retired the first nine batters he faced before Kinsler's homer. Kinsler took advantage of the new dimensions of Safeco Field, just clearing the left-field wall, which was moved in during the offseason.

Sixth-inning blues: Kinsler gave the Rangers a chance to scratch out a run trailing 3-1 in the top of the sixth. He ripped a single, stole second and moved to third on Elvis Andrus' ground ball to the left side. The rally died there. Lance Berkman, who had strikeouts in his first two at-bats, popped up to third base. Adrian Beltre, who is struggling to drive in runs, popped up to second base to end the inning.

Berkman struggles: Lance Berkman, who has been the Rangers' hottest hitter, had a night to forget. He struck out in his first two at-bats, then popped up on the infield in his other two at-bats. Berkman's batting average dropped below .400 to .394 on the season.

Not clutch: The Rangers were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. They had a runner in scoring position in each inning from the fifth to the eighth and couldn't break through.

Focus on CF: Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry both had chances to plate runs in the fifth and seventh innings after singles by A.J. Pierzynski and walks by Mitch Moreland. Martin grounded out to second base, and Gentry was called out on strikes after fouling off two hittable fastballs.

Up next: The Rangers and Mariners will play Game 3 of their four-game series at 8:10 p.m. Saturday night. Alexi Ogando (2-0, 0.77 ERA) will face Joe Saunders (1-1, 3.48 ERA) on Fox Sports Southwest.