ARLINGTON -- The Rangers opened the battle for first place in the American League West with a 7-3 victory over the Mariners at Globe Life Park on Friday night. The Rangers have won 10 of 13 and are now one game ahead of the Mariners in the division.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, batting in the cleanup spot, was the first to get to Mariners starter Taijuan Walker, hitting a three-run home run in the first inning and a two-run double in the third. Hitting in front of Beltre, Jurickson Profar, Ian Desmond and Nomar Mazara were a combined 8-for-13 with two walks and six runs scored.
"What our top four hitters did, that was exceptional tonight," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "That speaks volumes where they are at."
Walker allowed six runs in five innings and lost his sixth straight decision. The Mariners entered the game with a 19-8 record on the road but didn't arrive to their hotel until after 4:30 a.m., having to take a late flight from San Diego after their stunning 16-13 victory over the Padres. The Rangers were off on Thursday.
"We just had a hard time getting the game going on the mound, and getting any rhythm and giving our offense any chance to jump out," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "It was disappointing. But we just got beat tonight. We didn't pitch particularly well and that's a good team over there."
Yu Darvish earned his second win in two starts since his return from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. He allowed three runs, struck out five and walked one over 5 2/3 innings.
"Especially with Yu on the mound, he's one of the aces we've got on this team," Beltre said. "To give him a couple runs to start the first inning is nice, knowing that he normally shuts the other team down."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Beltre doubles past Pudge: Beltre's double in the third was No. 573 in his career, passing Ivan Rodriguez for 24th all-time. The five RBIs gave him 1,507 for his career, two more than Mickey Mantle for 53rd all-time.
"Obviously, I'm happy I've been able to stay healthy and play for a long time, and that's what happens when you play for a long time," Beltre said.
The long climb back: Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager dug himself a big hole in the first month of the season, hitting just .139 through 21 games. But since that low point on April 29, Seager has been on fire. His RBI single in the sixth inning cut the Rangers' lead to 6-3 and his 2-for-4 night puts his average at .299 for the season. Seager had two of Seattle's six hits off Darvish and is now batting .400 (50-for-125) with six homers and 29 RBIs since April 30.
"He's using the whole field and that's when you're locked in," said Robinson Cano. "That's the guy I know. I hope he stays there because in this game, we all go through tough times. I like the guy. He's a good player."
Profar makes sizzling catch: Profar not only hit his second home run in the fourth inning, he also saved a run in the fifth when he made a diving catch on Seth Smith's line drive with two out and a runner on second. More >
Mazara gets going in third spot: Mazara entered the game in a 2-for-20 slump but manager Jeff Banister still moved him into the No. 3 spot. Mazara responded with a single, double, two walks and a strikeout in his five trips to the plate.
"If they do build a new stadium, there might be a statue of Adrian on one knee, bat in the air, leg in the air, crushing some ball 700 feet away." -- Desmond on Beltre
"He's a very talented guy and certainly we think he has a very high ceiling, but right now he's in a bit of a rut and we've got to find a way out of it." -- Servais on Walker
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
WIth his sixth-inning double, Cano has reached base in 32 straight games, the longest active streak in the Majors and breaking his personal best of 31 games, which he'd reached three different times.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mariners saved a run in the bottom of the third when they successfully challenged a safe call at the plate after Beltre tried scoring from second on a Ryan Rua single. After a two-minute, 11-second review, the call was overturned as replays showed catcher Steve Clevenger took the throw from center fielder Norichika Aoki and tagged Beltre's left foot before he touched the plate, keeping the score at 5-1.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners: Right-hander Nathan Karns (5-1, 3.43 ERA) will take the mound for the Mariners at 6:05 p.m. PT Saturday. Karns is in the midst of career-high five-game winning streak. In his last start against the Padres, he threw 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on his way to the win.
Home team: Left-hander Martin Perez (3-4, 3.12 ERA) gets the start for the Rangers at 8:05 p.m. CT. Perez threw six innings and allowed two runs, while striking out three, to pick up a win against the Pirates in his last start Sunday.