But instead of breezing to a victory, the Mariners needed a
ninth-inning leadoff home run from shortstop Brad Miller to break a
tie as the Mariners topped the Kansas City Royals 7-5 on Friday
"These guys are hot, and everything is going pretty well for them
right now, and all it takes is one mistake or one thing to get them
going and they're back in the game," Mariners manager Lloyd
McClendon said of the Royals. "When you run into teams like that,
you have to play extremely good baseball, and really mistake-free
Miller homered on the fifth pitch from right-hander Greg Holland
(0-2). Miller was down in the count 1-2 and fouled off a pitch
before parking one just inside the right-field foul pole. Morrison
then added a two-out run-producing single for the final run.
"Just got behind, and was really just fighting, just battling and
got a slider," Miller said. "He throws 98 (mph), so you have to see
something up and was able to get it and turn on it and luckily turn
Holland was more upset with what occurred after the home run.
"You make one bad pitch and get beat," Holland said. "At that point
it's a one-run game, but we still have a chance to win the game in
the bottom half. But after that, I give up two hits and two walks,
that's the part that's really inexcusable.
"They are big league baseball players. Big league ball players don't
miss mistakes too often. I got up on the first guy two strikes and
didn't get the slider where I wanted. I made a mistake. Sometimes
you pay for them and I did tonight.
"At that point, you've got to leave it at one and I didn't. I just
kind of lost it out there after that. It's one of those rare
occasions where I couldn't find the strike zone."
The Royals loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but came
away empty. Third baseman Mike Moustakas flied out to second baseman
Robinson Cano and shortstop Alcides Escobar struck out to end the
Left-hander Charlie Furbush (1-4), the sixth of seven Seattle
pitchers, picked up the victory. Right-hander Fernando Rodney worked
the ninth to log his 19th save in 21 opportunities, despite giving
up two singles. He struck out third baseman Alex Gordon on three
pitches to end the game with runners on the corners.
Cano went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and two walks, hiking his
average to .337, while center fielder James Jones stroked three
singles and scored two runs.
The loss dropped the Royals into second place in the American League
Central, a half-game behind Detroit, after a 10-game winning streak
took them into first place.
The Royals chased Iwakuma in the sixth after designated hitter Billy
Butler and left fielder Alex Gordon led off the inning with singles.
Iwakuma had limited the Royals to three singles over the first four
innings before giving up five runs and six hits in the fifth and six
innings. Butler scored on catcher Salvador Perez's single off
right-hander Dominic Leone. Gordon came home on right fielder
Lorenzo Cain's fielder's choice grounder.
Royals right-hander James Shields, who is 5-0 with four no-decisions
since a May 2 loss, left after seven innings and 103 pitches with
the score tied at 5. He yielded nine hits, including two home runs,
walked one and struck out five.
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"I made two bad pitches," Shields said of the home runs. "We battled
hard today, battled back and showed a lot of heart, we'll get them
Mariners right fielder Endy Chavez, who broke into the majors in
2001 with the Royals, led off the game with a double and advanced to
third on Jones' sacrifice bunt. With the infield in, Cano worked a
full-count before hitting a single into left field to score Chavez.
The Mariners made it 2-0 with two outs in the fourth when Zunino
belted his eighth home run, a shot over the Royals' bullpen in left
on an 0-1 offering from Shields.
The Mariners added three more runs in the fifth. Jones began the
inning with a single, stole second and scored on Cano's double to
right-center. Morrison, who came off the disabled list June 10,
homered on a full-count Shields' pitch with Cano aboard. It was the
14th home run Shields has yielded this year.
"I went from hitting one ball hard a game to two balls hard a game,"
Morrison said. "They were still finding gloves in San Diego, but
hopefully we can get some more grass and some more in the
The Royals used the long ball to cut the lead to 5-3 in the bottom
of the fifth. Perez hit an 0-2 pitch out to left to start it. Cain
doubled and scored on Moustakas' homer to right.
"I kind of lost my rhythm as the game went on," Iwakuma said. "They
were very aggressive, they got to certain pitches and they kind of
just took advantage and took off."
Those were the first runs Iwakuma allowed against the Royals. He had
held them scoreless for 16 innings in his first two starts against
"We haven't scored a run off him in two years," Royals manager Ned
Yost said. "So to score five off him was good. He's really tough to
read. It was big to get him out of the game."
Butler had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, his
longest since Sept. 20-29, 2012.
NOTES: Rex Hudler, a Royals television announcer, had a.417 batting
average against the Mariners. That is the highest career average for
an opposing hitter with a minimum of 60 at-bats against the
Mariners. ... RF Endy Chavez batted in the Seattle leadoff spot for
the 11th time since being called up May 30. ... LHP Jason Vargas,
who pitched from 2009-2012 for the Mariners, will face his former
team Saturday. ... Mariners DH Corey Hart, who is on the disabled
list with a strained left hamstring, will begin a minor league rehab
stint Saturday with Triple-A Tacoma. ... The Royals are 13-6 in
review challenges, winning the past five.
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