The 26-year-old second baseman made his fourth career home run
his most memorable to date, hitting a three-run shot in Sunday's
seventh inning to help the Royals beat the Seattle Mariners 9-7.
Giavotella hit the first pitch from Seattle reliever Danny Farquhar
(1-1) over the left field fence to put the Royals (18-19) ahead for
good in Sunday's series finale.
"I was super-excited, super pumped-up," Giavotella said. "I felt
like I was walking on clouds running around the bases."
Giavotella's home run capped off a rare power surge for a Kansas
City team that scored seven of its nine runs on homers. Shortstop
Alcides Escobar hit the first grand slam of his career in the second
inning, setting the tables for the Royals' first multi-homer game of
They came on a day when Seattle (19-18) hit three home runs -- two
of them coming off the red-hot back of leftfielder Dustin Ackley.
Ackley hit solo shots in the third and fourth innings, giving him
three consecutive at-bats with homers when adding in the solo homer
in Saturday's sixth inning.
"They both felt great," Ackley said of Sunday's home runs, which
marked the first multi-homer game of his career. "The one (Saturday)
felt great. So I'm just going to try to keep it rolling."
Ackley's two home runs helped the Mariners rally from an early 4-0
deficit that came off Escobar's second-inning grand slam. Seattle
third baseman Kyle Seager added a home run as the Mariners pulled
out to a 7-5 lead through the sixth inning.
Seattle couldn't overcome five errors, three of which led to a pair
of unearned runs in the second and fourth innings. Seager and first
baseman Justin Smoak botched ground balls, while catcher Mike Zunino
allowed a baserunner to advance on a throwing error in the fourth.
Right fielder Cole Gillespie, a defensive replacement who came on in
the top of the ninth inning, had two errors on one play when he
mishandled a Gordon single and then threw the ball away on the relay
to give up two extra bases.
"We didn't play very good," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon,
who didn't mince words after the game. "We kicked ourselves in the
(tail) today, no question."
The two teams combined for 23 hits, with Ackley and Kansas City left
fielder Alex Gordon both going 3-for-4. The Kansas City win earned a
split in the four-game series at Safeco Field.
Neither starting pitcher made it past the fifth inning, and Kansas
City's Louis Coleman (1-0) earned the win after a scoreless inning
of relief. Farquhar (1-1) took the loss after giving up four runs
off two hits and two walks in the seventh. Farquhar seemed to
unravel after throwing his arms in the air on what he thought should
have been a called third strike to Gordon. That ended up being the
second of back-to-back walks Farquhar issued before Giavotella took
him deep for the costly three-run homer.
"It's tough," Farquhar said. "It happens. But you have to move on. I
didn't execute the pitches like I have to."
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Giovatella called hitting the home run "probably the happiest moment
of my career so far."
Greg Holland, the sixth Royals pitcher to enter the game, earned his
ninth save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
Escobar ended the Royals' home run drought to put Kansas City in
front. It marked the first home run by a Kansas City player since
Tuesday and only the third this month.
Seattle got back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the
third. Ackley opened the frame with a solo shot, then shortstop Brad
Miller ended an 0-for-19 slump with a two-run double to pull the
Mariners to within 4-3.
The Royals added a run on a Nori Aoki RBI in the top of the fourth
before Ackley and the Mariners struck again in the bottom of the
Seager, who missed two consecutive games with flu-like symptoms, hit
a two-run home run to tie the score 5-5. Ackley, who also homered in
his final at-bat of Saturday's game, followed with another solo shot
in the fourth to give the Mariners their first lead, 6-5. In
addition to homering in three consecutive at-bats, Ackley turned in
the first multi-homer game of his career.
Designated hitter Corey Hart added a two-out RBI single in the fifth
inning to extend Seattle's lead to 7-5 and chase Kansas City starter
Jeremy Guthrie from the game. Guthrie allowed seven runs off eight
hits over 4 2/3 innings. He didn't allow a walk but gave up a
season-high three home runs.
Seattle starter Roenis Elias struggled as well, giving up nine hits
in five innings. Only three of the five runs he allowed were earned,
and Elias had five strikeouts.
NOTES: Mariners 3B Kyle Seager has four homers in Seattle's past
three day games at home. ... Royals C Salvador Perez (calf) took
Sunday's game off. ... Mariners RF Michael Saunders, who
hyperextended his knee in Saturday night's win, was not in the
lineup Sunday but came on to pinch-hit in the eighth. He struck out,
and he did not play in the field. ... Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker
(shoulder) and LHP James Paxton (lat muscle) both threw successful
bullpen sessions before Sunday's game.
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