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78-54 - Rangers bust out shovel and begin series with win over M's

The Rangers kicked Seattle back to third place in the West with a series-opening 6-3 win

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Just about the only thing that I am truly sports mean about is the Seattle Mariners, Felix Hernandez, and Mike Trout's playoff futility. It amuses me greatly knowing that King Felix has never tasted postseason action even though I know that must be hurtful to a lot of people.

I take great enjoyment in knowing that, say, Hanser Alberto has played in more playoff games than Mike Trout and has been a part of two more wins (two total, in fact) than Trout has ever experienced in October (Trout's Angels went zero-for-three in his one playoff series in 2014).

That's why tonight I took pleasure in seeing the Rangers loosen up the earth a little as they prepare to bury the Mariners. I know it's heartless. I know it's cruel. But it's so damn funny to see division rivals waste two generational players while the Rangers extend their best run in franchise history.

Yu Darvish was charged with three runs tonight but two of those runs scored when Jake Diekman allowed runners he inherited from Darvish to score in the 7th inning. Otherwise, Darvish was once again fantastic for Texas as he went 6 2/3 innings and struck out nine while walking just two Mariners.

Houston won tonight so the Rangers remain 8 1/2 games up in the American League West. Additionally, with the win over Seattle, the Rangers are 9 1/2 games up on the Mariners. At 78-54, the Rangers are once again at their high water mark of 24 games above .500 for the year.

Player of the Game: Besides Darvish, who is always the PotG of our hearts, Carlos Beltran followed up his day off from yesterday with a 3-for-4 night including a solo home run that got the scoring underway in the 1st.

Beltran famously tied the Ranger record for consecutive at-bats without a hit -- going 0-for-32 last week -- but never really looked like he was struggling or doing anything different at the plate. The day of rest did him well, however, as he drove in two and scored twice for Texas.

Up Next: Game two of this series features Cy Young candidate Cole Hamels against LHP James Paxton of Seattle. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT.