Joe Saunders, who pitched well enough to win through four innings, came unglued in the fifth, allowing six earned runs in what became a 7-0 Mariners loss to Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers Friday night in Arlington. Darvish, who lost in Seattle in his previous start, registered his third win in four starts by pitching seven scoreless innings. He allowed just three hits and struck out 10.
The Mariners, starting a six-game road trip with the first of three against the Rangers, managed five hits and fell to 7-11. While the Mariners have three wins over Darvish since he entered the majors last year, they have now gone 12 innings in a row without a run against him.
Jeff Baker put Texas ahead 1-0 with a two-out home run off Saunders in the second inning. In the fifth, the Rangers scored twice as many runs as they had in any inning this season. Texas’ seven runs overall matched a season high.
The Mariners, held scoreless for the first time, fanned 13 times and have whiffed 44 times in their last three games. They had 19 strikeouts Wednesday against Detroit and 12 more Thursday. Seattle also went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
Saunders, chased after Craig Gentry’s two-run triple in the fifth, has a career 7-0 mark at Safeco Field, but is 0-7 with a 9.91 ERA in seven starts at Rangers Ballpark. After Saunders departed, Hector Noesi, just recalled from AAA Tacoma, made his season debut for the Mariners. He pitched 3.1 innings and allowed just one hit.
The Mariners, who scored a 2-0 win over Detroit Thursday, haven’t won consecutive games since starting the season 2-0.
RHP Brandon Maurer (1-2, 9.95) starts Saturday for Seattle against RHP Nick Tepesch (1-1, 3.46).