Felix Hernandez strikes out 12 as Mariners rip Yu Darvish, Rangers

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez dominated the Texas Rangers again
on Saturday night.

Hernandez allowed three singles and struck out 12 over nine innings in Seattle's
7-0 win Saturday.

"Those guys are dangerous," Hernandez said. "Just tried to
throw on the corners."

Hernandez leads the majors in strikeouts with 140.

In two starts against the Rangers this season, he's allowed one
run in 17 innings, struck out 19 and given up nine hits.

It was also the first time in Hernandez's major league career he had a shutout victory in which he allowed no walks and as few as three hits while striking out at least a dozen batters, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

In fact, there have been only 35 other games of that sort pitched in the majors since 1900 -- meaning that such games have been more than six times as rare as no-hitters.

The only other major leaguers to throw such games over the past 10 seasons: Matt Cain, in his perfect game against the Astros on June 13; Chris Capuano for the Mets against the Braves last August 26 in the game that started Atlanta's 10-20 season-ending slide; Erik Bedard for the Orioles against the Rangers in 2007; and Randy Johnson in his perfect game for the Diamondbacks against the Braves in 2004.

Rangers starter Yu Darvish (10-6) struggled against the

Darvish's lack of control and a couple of grounders put the
Mariners up 4-0 in the first inning.

Darvish came into Saturday averaging 9.3 walks per nine innings
in his two outings this year against the Mariners.

Darvish walked Dustin Ackley to start Saturday's game, then hit
Casper Wells with a 3-2 pitch after Ichiro Suzuki singled. A
four-pitch walk to John Jaso followed, scoring Ackley.

Michael Saunders' hard grounder went off Michael Young's glove
at first for an error. After Justin Smoak popped up, Kyle Seager
singled in two more runs.

Darvish ended the 33-pitch inning by striking out Carlos Peguero
and Brendan Ryan.

"You put those guys on the bags, and someone will find a way to
get a base hit," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "The guys
that were on the bags, other than Ichiro, were on for free. Those
are the types of things Yu has to continue to work on."

Darvish allowed eight hits, seven earned runs, four walks and
four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

Hernandez took advantage of the early run support and cooled off
the powerful Rangers' offense. Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz each
struck out three times.

"He only needed one run," Ackley said. "It was nice to put
those runs up and give him a little cushion. When he's relaxed out
there, it's almost impossible."

Cruz's seventh-inning strikeout was the 10th of the game for
Hernandez (7-5), the fourth time he has reached at least that mark
this season and 20th time in his career.

"As good as I've seen him," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
"I've said that a few times lately. Just shows you how special he
was tonight. I thought maybe the best fastball we've seen him have
this year."

Ackley's first solid contact of the game caromed off Darvish's
left shin in the second, and the pitcher threw him out.

"I've got to take a look at it tomorrow and see where I am,"
Darvish said of his leg. "I really don't think it's going to
affect me."

Ackley hit a line drive off the center field wall in the fourth
inning to drive in Seager and give the Mariners a 5-0 lead.

Jaso's solo homer to left-center field in the fifth, his fourth
this season, pushed Seattle in front 6-0.

Saunders' seventh-inning double to right field drove in Wells,
who had singled. Darvish then walked Smoak, which ended his night.

The seven runs allowed were a career high for Darvish, and he
has a 9.00 ERA in three starts against Seattle this year. Five of
Darvish's six losses are on the road.

Game notes

The Rangers recalled catcher Luis Martinez and option RHP
Yoshinori Tateyama to Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. Martinez
provides insurance at catcher, since the Rangers are trying to rest
Mike Napoli (thigh bruise) until Tuesday's series in Oakland. ...
Hamilton is hitting .167 in his career against Hernandez. ...
Seattle scored five-plus runs for just the 30th time this season.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN's Stats & Info group was used in this report.