- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - It’s not just Adrian Beltre’s production that impresses his Texas Rangers teammates. It’s also his flair.

Beltre homered, doubled and drove in five runs, leading Yu Darvish and the Rangers over the Seattle Mariners 7-3 on Friday night in a matchup of AL West leaders.

Texas and Seattle, who play six times in 10 days, went into the game tied for the division lead. The Rangers have won five of six overall.

“When this new stadium gets built, there will be a statue out front of Adrian on one knee, bat in the air, leg in the air,” Ian Desmond said. “Probably, some ball 700 feet away.”

Beltre hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the third. The double was the 573rd of his career, tying former Texas catcher Ivan Rodriguez for 24th place.

“I’m glad that I’ve been able to stay healthy and play for a long time,” Beltre said. “When you play for a long time, you accumulate some numbers.”

Darvish (2-0) gave up three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking one while throwing 88 pitches. Last week, the All-Star ace made his first start since August 2014 and Tommy John surgery, allowing one run and three hits over five innings to beat Pittsburgh.

Darvish didn’t reach the same velocity Friday. He tried unsuccessfully to convince manager Jeff Banister to leave him in to face Dae-Ho Lee of South Korea for a third time.

“As he approached the mound, I was trying to make eye contact and told him to not come out,” Darvish said. “He turned his eyes away, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.”

Mariners manager Scott Servais credited Darvish with successfully turning to secondary pitches - like curveballs thrown as slow as 65 mph - while Seattle starter Taijuan Walker (2-6) who is 0-6 in his last seven starts, couldn’t do the same.

“He’s a talented guy, and we certainly need him,” Servais said of the 23-year-old Walker. “He’ll get it back on track, but we’ve got to continue to work.”

PLEASANT PROBLEM

Jurickson Profar was brought up from Triple-A Round Rock last week to play second base in the absence of Rougned Odor, who completed a seven-game suspension Friday for punching Toronto’s Jose Bautista on May 15. Profar went 3 for 4 with his second homer, has hit safely in all seven games and is hitting .364 with nine runs.

“He’s making a real strong argument for himself,” Banister said. “We continue evaluate the situation.”

As for Profar’s future upon Odor’s return, Profar said, “That’s not my decision.”

BREWS MOST IMPORTANT

Austin Knox, 26, of Dallas, watched a foul ball hit straight back toward him in the third deck behind home plate whiz within inches of him. The ball struck his seat and glanced off his backside. He barely turned as he held one beer for himself and another for his girlfriend, Heather Fleming of Shreveport, Louisiana.

“I hear everyone yelling,” Knox said. “I didn’t drop the beer, though.”

And they got the foul ball.

SHORT HOPS

Rangers LHP Alex Claudio was sent to Round Rock as RHP Shawn Tolleson was activated from the emergency medical list. … Beltre was initially called safe on a tag play at the plate in the third inning, but Seattle challenged and successfully had the call overturned. . Desmond had four hits.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: SS Ketel Marte (sprained thumb) is scheduled to rejoin the team on Monday to begin a seven-game homestand.

Rangers: RF Shin-Soo Choo (hamstring strain) began a rehab assignment on Friday night with Double-A Frisco and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.

UP NEXT

Mariners RHP Nathan Karns (5-1) has four wins and three no-decisions over his last seven starts with a 2.76 ERA. In his only previous career start in Arlington, he received a no-decision last August while with Tampa Bay.

Rangers LHP Martin Perez (3-4) has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts and went into Friday having induced a Major League-leading 17 groundball double plays.


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