Another victory, however, would simply be good enough against the Seattle Mariners .
Coming off another near no-hitter, Darvish looks to win his career-best fourth straight start and lead AL West-leading Texas to its 16th victory in 19 games Sunday in Arlington.
After totaling 13 runs and batting .224 while dropping four of their previous five against the Mariners (56-66), the Rangers scored five times in the second inning off Felix Hernandez and had an eight-run eighth en route to their highest total of the season in Saturday's 15-3 win.
Former Mariner Adrian Beltre had two more hits, raising his average to .444 during a nine-game hitting streak versus his old club. He's also batting .460 in his last 14 games overall.
Texas (71-52) likely won't need another big offensive performance with Darvish (12-5, 2.64 ERA) on the mound Sunday.
Darvish again neared perfection in his last start, striking out a career-high 15 and allowing one hit in eight innings of a 2-1 win at Houston on Monday. Carlos Corporan ended the no-hit bid with a home run with one out in the eighth."He moved it around, kept them off-balance," manager Ron Washington said. "When they were looking for breaking balls he was throwing fastballs and cutters and when they were looking for cutters he was throwing breaking balls."
The All-Star right-hander also came close to a perfect game in his first start of the season before Houston's Marwin Gonzalez singled with two outs in the ninth inning. He joined Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers in team history to have more than one start of at least eight innings with one hit or less.
Now all eyes figure to be on Darvish as he looks to improve on his 4-1 record and 1.31 ERA in five starts since missing more than two weeks with an upper back strain. He leads the majors with 207 strikeouts and opponents are batting .186 against him - among the lowest marks in baseball.
Darvish is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his last three starts against the Mariners after he allowed three hits over seven innings of a 7-0 home win April 19.
Kendrys Morales (2 for 18), Dustin Ackley (2 for 15) and Raul Ibanez (1 for 9) haven't fared well, but Kyle Seager is 6 for 16 with four doubles in this matchup. Seager is also 28 for 56 during a 13-game hitting streak in Arlington.
"That's a good pitching staff, so it's not like that's the case," Seager told the team's official website. "But a couple times we've come here before and I made a few adjustments and hopefully I've got into a little rhythm."
The Mariners counter with Erasmo Ramirez (4-0, 7.06) hoping to avoid their 14th loss in 21 games.
The right-hander was tagged for four runs and seven hits - two homers - over 5 1-3 innings in a 5-4 win at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. He fanned a season-high seven, giving him 27 strikeouts over 27 2-3 innings in five starts.
Ramirez gave up two runs and four hits over 4 1-3 innings in a pair of relief appearances at Texas last season.
|July 26, 2013||Mike Zunino||15-Day DL||Fractured left hamate bone|
|July 11, 2013||Nick Franklin||Day-to-Day||Left game - knee soreness|
|July 11, 2013||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin tightness|
|June 29, 2013||Dustin Ackley||Day-to-Day||Left game - thumb|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
|August 16, 2013||Alexi Ogando||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 03, 2013||Nelson Cruz||Day-to-Day||Lower body|
|July 12, 2013||Justin Grimm||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right forearm|
|July 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||15-Day DL||Upper back strain|
|July 07, 2013||Lance Berkman||15-Day DL||Left hip inflammation|
|July 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||15-Day DL||Upper back strain|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Down 0-2 with two outs in the ninth against Texas closer Joe Nathan , Seattle's Kyle Seager couldn't afford to be choosy.
Throwing caution to the wind, he took a pitch that was nearly in the dirt down the right field line for a game-winning RBI double in the Mariners' 4-3 win over the Rangers on Saturday.
"We have other hitters here, but when the game's on the line like that, it's Kyle Seager ," Mariners acting manager Robby Thompson said. "He went down and got the ball. He's a great grinder and battler."
The Mariners took two of three from AL West-leading Texas. They scored three runs in 7 1-3 innings against Rangers ace Yu Darvish in the series finale.
Seager took a leadoff four-pitch walk and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth, and that two-out RBI double off Nathan won the game for the Mariners in the ninth.
Until an eighth inning, go-ahead home run against Texas on Friday, Seager had been 0 for 21, but he finished the weekend against Texas going 4 for 9 with a walk, two home runs, two doubles and four RBIs.
"I got ahead of Seager and made a pitch," Nathan said. "He hit a pitch that was probably going to be in the dirt if he didn't scoop it out of the ground before it got there. Hats off to him. Again he found a way to find the outfield grass when he needed it on a pitch that out of my hand felt pretty good. I'll take my chance with those."
Nathan (3-2) took over to begin the ninth with the score 3-all. Endy Chavez led off with a single, Humberto Quintero laid down a sacrifice bunt and Nick Franklin drew a two-out walk before Seager's go-ahead hit.
Yoervis Medina (4-3) got the win and Danny Farquhar earned his seventh save in 10 tries. Starter Erasmo Ramirez had a solid outing, pitching seven innings and giving up two runs, one earned while taking the no-decision.
The Mariners won for only the eighth time in 21 games. Each team scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings before Seattle won it. The Mariners lead-off man reached base in each of the last five innings.
"The leadoff guy - it's his job (to get on base)," said Michael Saunders , who got hits his first three at-bats, all against Darvish. "We were doing that job today. Then we came up with clutch hits, especially with two outs."
Saunders had a leadoff single and then scored in the fifth, and he had an RBI double in the sixth that scored Franklin
Darvish was coming off a start in which he struck out a career-high 15 and took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning against Houston.
The two-time All-Star from Japan struck out seven, raising his major league-leading total to 214.
"In many games I have trouble with my command in any inning I throw, but today it happened after the sixth inning," Darvish said through a translator. Darvish retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced and gave up five of his seven hits and all four of his walks after the fourth. Darvish left after throwing 120 pitches. He walked four after walking a total of four in his previous three August starts.
NOTES: The Rangers expect to announce on Monday who will start Tuesday's game against the Houston Astros . After it was announced that Alexi Ogando would miss his start on Monday due to inflammation around a nerve in his right shoulder, Matt Garza was bumped up in the rotation from Tuesday to Monday. Ross Wolf , a long reliever for Texas, is among the candidates to get the call. He said Sunday that "if needed, yeah, I can give them all I've got, and all I've got may be 70 pitches." . Rangers first baseman Lance Berkman 's status remains up in the air. Berkman has been on the disabled list (left hip inflammation) since July 7. Rangers manager Ron Washington said the team hasn't "come up with anything yet" regarding Berkman. . Seattle left fielder Raul Ibanez got the day off to rest. Dustin Ackley moved to left field while Michael Saunders played center field. Also, Michael Morse was out of the lineup, giving Chavez the start in right.