Mariners Game Recap: Royals Dethrone the King
The Seattle Mariners (32-39) came up small tonight, losing 4-1 to the Kansas City Royals (40-27) in the series opener of a 3-game series. The Royals jumped all over Felix Hernandez (10-4, 3.24 ERA) on Monday night, and the King took the loss for the Mariners. Joe Blanton (2-0, 1.73 ERA) earned his 2nd win of the season tonight for KC. All Star closer, Greg Holland, picked up his 15th save of the season.
Felix Hernandez did not look like himself tonight, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits across 6.2 innings. His 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio was decent, but he seemed out of sync all night. He had reasonable command of his pitches, as 72 of his 112 pitches found the strike zone. King Felix has been extremely inconsistent as of late, and it is starting to worry me. Entering tonight’s contest, Hernandez had allowed 7 runs or more in 2 of his last 4 outings and 1 run or less in the other 2 starts. The 29-year-old remains the top right-handed hurler in baseball, but he needs to get back on track if the M’s have any hope in 2015.
Joe Beimel and Fernando Rodney combined to pitch 2.1 shutout frames tonight in relief for the Mariners. The former Mariners’ closer has now had 5 consecutive scoreless appearances. I am happy to see Rodney rebounding, but I still don’t want to see him with the ball in the 9th inning.
Joe Blanton has to be considered one of the biggest surprises of the season thus far. The veteran right-hander shut down the Mariners on Monday, allowing 1 run on just 2 hits across 6 innings of work. Blanton was electric, striking out 7 and walking none. A solo home run was his lone blemish tonight.
The vaunted Royals bullpen lived up to their billing tonight. Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis both fired perfect frames to earn holds, and Greg Holland shut the door on the M’s in the 9th for the save.
It was an awful night at the plate for Seattle. They managed to registered just 2 hits this evening, and tally 3 total baserunners. Robinson Cano was the standout for the M’s, connecting on a solo home run in the bottom of the 1st inning. The dinger was Cano’s 3rd of the season. Austin Jackson came through with a double to lead off the 7th inning, but Seattle was unable to get him around. Logan Morrison was the only Mariner to work a walk this evening.
Alcides Escobar led the way offensively for the Royals, going 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Mike Moustakas also had a nice game for Kansas City, going 2 for 4 with an RBI. Alex Rios and Omar Infante were responsible for the other Royals’ runs on Monday.
The Mariners missed an opportunity to gain a game on the American league West leading Houston Astros tonight. Seattle remains in 4th place in the AL West, 8.5 game back of the Astros.
The Seattle Mariners (32-39) will play host to the Kansas City Royals (40-27) on Tuesday night at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Mike Montgomery (1-2, 2.73 ERA) will be charged with evening the series tomorrow night for the M’s. The Royals will turn to veteran righty Jeremy Guthrie (5-4, 5.55 ERA) on Tuesday. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.
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