ARLINGTON -- Jason Vargas still has two or three starts left this season, but the Mariners left-hander surpassed the 200-inning mark in Saturday's 8-6 victory over the Rangers and set a career high in the process.
The 29-year-old has now exceeded the 200-inning mark for two consecutive years. He hit 201 last season and now has 204 2/3 this year, one of just seven Major Leaguers at that milepost heading into Sunday's games.
"It's a great feeling," Vargas said. "I feel like if I'm able to do that, then I'm really contributing and going out there and giving our team a chance to win ballgames and being a significant part of the team."
Though he wound up with a no-decision on Saturday when the Rangers rallied to tie the game after his departure, Vargas leads the Mariners in wins with his 14-10 record, one more than Felix Hernandez. And in games Vargas has started, Seattle is 17-14, one more win than Hernandez's 16-14 mark.
Manager Eric Wedge said the 200-inning mark is a great indicator of the reliability and consistency teams need from their starters.
"That means a lot," Wedge said. "First of all, it means somebody you can count on. He's done a better job this year taking care of himself. He's stronger. His routine is better. And I think he really believes how good he is and that's a good thing.
"To pitch 200 innings in the big leagues is a big deal. It's not something you can just brush off. His teammates know they can count on him every fifth day and that says a lot, and to be successful doing it."
The other pitchers at 200 innings through Saturday were Detroit's Justin Verlander (217 1/3), Hernandez (212 2/3) and Tampa Bay's James Shields (205 1/3) in the AL and the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (206 2/3), the Mets' R.A. Dickey (205) and the Padres' Clayton Richard (202) in the NL.