ARLINGTON – Hours before the game, the party line throughout the Texas Rangers’ clubhouse was that the offense will come. There was no need to worry, the players and manager said.
And they were right for a night.
The Rangers had their most productive inning of the season, scoring six runs in the fifth en route to a 7-0 victory over the Mariners on Friday night at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas starter Yu Darvish worked seven scoreless innings, a promising sign on a day the team announced that Opening Day starter Matt Harrison wouldn’t return until after the All-Star break.
Darvish scattered three hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts over his 111-pitch outing. It is the 10th start that Darvish has double-digit strikeouts in his career.
Darvish got his first six outs on strikeouts, and retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced. Robbie Ross worked a scoreless eighth, and Michael Kirkman pitched the ninth for the combined shutout.
But the offensive production was the story of the night.
The Rangers scored more runs in the fifth (six) than they had in their previous seven games. They went into the game with a .209 average and just 17 runs over that seven-game stretch.
Jeff Baker had a solo homer in the second before the bats broke loose in the fifth. A.J. Pierzynski had a two-run single, Craig Gentry had a two-run triple and Ian Kinsler had an RBI double in the six-run inning.
-- Drew Davison