I had hoped that the Mariners would not go into the series with a sense that the series with Kansas City would be easy, despite the Royals’ win-loss record. As I watched the stressful games, I wondered why the team had not done better during the season to date! The Royals have some strong position players! Dave Sims and Aaron Goldsmith noted that series with the Royals can be atypical. I would have to agree.
The Mariners and the Royals both had tenacity in this series and battled each game. All the Seattle players were involved in offensive and defensive efforts. The Royals hit several of the Mariners with pitches – Ty France, being among them, of course. The Mariners did strand several base runners, especially in Game 3. They also made a few careless errors that Scott Servais is likely to highlight with them.
Game 1: Seattle 6, Kansas City, 7
The Mariners players seemed tired in this game which made sense after the big King Felix weekend and a competitive series against the Orioles. They did wake up, however, perhaps a bit late.
Kansas City started scoring in the first inning when Maikel Garcia and Bobby Witt, Jr. singled and Salvador Perez hit a home run, bringing the others home with him: SEA 0, KC 3. Then both teams were scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when Bobby Witt hit an inside-the-park home run: SEA 0, KC 4. In the next inning, Matt Duffy, Drew Waters, and Kyle Isbel loaded the bases. When Garcia walked, Duffy scored: SEA 0, KC 5.
In the eighth inning, Mike Ford doubled, and Dylan Moore reached first after being hit. Josh Rojas singled. Julio Rodríguez doubled, enabling Ford, Moore, and Rojas to score: SEA 3, KC 5. Rodríguez scored when Eugenio Suárez singled: SEA 4, KC 5.
In the top of the ninth, Teoscar Hernández singled. Sam Haggerty walked. Josh Rojas singled and Hernández scored. Rodríguez singled and Haggerty scored: SEA 6, KC 5. In the bottom of the ninth, Kansas City’s Witt and Massey singled. Witt came home when Salvador Perez hit a sac fly. The game would have gone to the 10th inning, but Dairon Blanco hit a bunt that allowed Samad Taylor (pinch running for Michael Massey) to score. The final score was SEA 6, KC 7.
Logan Gilbert pitched into the fifth inning, allowing four runs. Saucedo allowed one run while Campbell and Topa allowed no runs. Brash, at the end of the game, allowed two.
Game 2: SEA 10, KC 8
When Seattle scored seven runs in the fourth inning, I thought we could avoid the last-minute drama of the past several nights. But peace of mind was not in the cards!
Neither team scored until the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, both Suárez and France homered. Raleigh walked. Hernández then hit a two-run homerun: SEA 4, KC 0. Canzone made it to first on an error and then to second on a wild pitch. Caballero doubled, enabling Canzone to score. SEA 5, KC 0. Rojas homered and he and Caballero both scored: SEA 7, KC 0.
In the fifth inning, the Royals’ batters came alive. Melendez, Beaty, Isbel, and Garcia singled, allowing Melendez to score: SEA 7, KC 1. With bases loaded, Bobby Witt, Jr. hit a grand slam: SEA 7, KC 5.
In the top of the seventh, Suárez walked and then scored when Hernández doubled: SEA 8, KC 5. In the bottom of the ninth, Velázquez reached first on a Mariners error. Taylor walked, sending Velázquez to second and then to third. Witt walked. Massey singled. Velázquez and Taylor scored: SEA 8, KC 7. Salvador Perez singled, allowing Witt to score. SEA 8, KC 8.
The game moved into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th, the Royals pitcher hit Caballero. Haggerty hit a sacrifice bunt. Marlowe, the extra inning player on second, went to third and Caballero moved to second. The pitcher intentionally walked Rodríguez. France’s single sent both Marlowe and Caballero home: SEA 10, KC 8.
In the bottom of the 10th, Tayler Saucedo pitched. Melendez hit a fly-out and Fermin and Velázquez ground out. Game over! The Mariners win 10-8!
Emerson Hancock did a fine job for his second pitching assignment in MLB, although it seemed that the Royals may have figured him out the second time around. Speier, Topa, and Saucedo allowed no runs. Muñoz pitched for a long inning when three runs came in.
Game 3: SEA 6, KC 5
The Mariners scored in the first inning: Julio hit a double and then scored when Ty France singled. Cal Raleigh then hit a two-run home run: SEA 3, KC 0. Seattle added another run in the second inning. Caballero doubled, Rojas walked, and then Rodríguez singled, sending Caballero home: SEA 4, KC 0.
Kansas City responded in the next few innings. A sacrifice fly in the first inning by Massey sent Garcia home from second: SEA 4, KC 1. Waters tripled in the second. Isbel sacrificed a fly ball to send Waters home: SEA 4: KC 2. In the third, Perez singled and then scored when Melendez doubled: SEA 4, KC 3. In the sixth, Melendez and Beaty singled, sending Melendez to third. Melendez scored while the Mariners were getting a double play: SEA 4, KC 4.
In the top of the eighth inning, Moore reached first because of a fielding error. He then stole second base. Suárez singled and France walked, allowing Moore to score: SEA 5, KC 4. Gabe Speier prevented the Royals from scoring in the bottom of the eighth.
In the top of the ninth, Haggerty and Caballero singled. Rodríguez singled, allowing Haggerty to score: SEA 6, KC 4. In the bottom of the ninth, Velázquez homered off a Matt Brash pitch: SEA 6, KC 5 The Royals did not score again so it was a Mariners’ victory.
Luis Castillo pitched seven innings, allowing four runs. Speier and Brash finished the game.
Game 4: SEA 6 KC 4 (Otherwise known as Julio’s Game)
The Mariners and the Royals limited their runs to one apiece until the sixth inning. In the top of the second Caballero was hit by a pitch, Cade Marlowe singled and Rodríguez singled, allowing Marlowe to score: SEA 1, KC 0. In the bottom of the fourth, Nelson Velázquez hit a home run: SEA 1, KC 1.
In the top of the sixth, Marlowe and Canzone walked. Rodríguez doubled and Marlowe scored: SEA 2, KC 1. In the bottom of the sixth, Witt doubled and then made it to third. Massey’s single sent Witt home: SEA 2, KC 2. Then Velázquez singled and Melendez doubled, allowing Massey to score. Fermin hit a sacrifice fly so that Velázquez could score: SEA 2, KC 4.
In the top of the eighth, Marlowe doubled, and Canzone walked. Rodríguez hit a three-run home run: SEA 5, KC 4. Then in the top of the ninth, Raleigh hit a solo home run: SEA 6, KC 4.
Rodríguez had five RBIs this game and Raleigh was responsible for the sixth!
George Kirby pitched six innings, allowing four runs. Campbell, Thornton, and Brash followed, allowing no additional runs.
Onward . . .
With a wild-card spot in reach, the Mariners move on to Texas to face the Astros. Go, Mariners!