SEATTLE -- The Safeco Field jinx that sacked Yu Darvish during his rookie season last year appears to have been broken after the right-hander didn’t allow a hit Friday night over his final five innings.
One problem, though, was that the jinx was still working its voodoo in the first inning. Another problem was that Darvish wasn’t the game’s most effective Japanese starting pitcher.
Hisashi Iwakuma allowed one run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings, and Seattle jumped Darvish for three first-inning runs en route to a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Darvish entered the game 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA in his first two career starts at Safeco Field, and left it 0-3 with a 7.15 ERA after his third.
The loss was first of the season for Darvish (2-1) in three starts, and the first of his brief major-league career in April (6-1). The good news, however, is that he threw 108 pitches in six innings without aggravating the skin issue on his right ring finger.
The Mariners did the bulk of their damage in the first inning, collecting three hits and scoring three times. Darvish hit Jason Bay with one out, uncorked a wild pitch to move Bay to second, and surrendered a single to Kendrys Morales.
Raul Ibanez followed with a single for the game’s first run, and Kyle Seager doubled off the glove of first baseman Mitch Moreland two batters later to drive in both runners.
The Rangers' offense collected only six hits. Iwakuma retired the first nine before Ian Kinsler started the fourth with a home run. Kinsler, who also singled in the sixth, has three career homers against the right-hander.
-- Jeff Wilson