Even the host of “Inside Edition” was going to have a tough time selling her seen-everything audience on this one.
None other than tabloid TV anchor Deborah Norville threw out the first pitch at Safeco Field on Thursday night. It wound up being about the only offering the Mariners didn’t see clobbered someplace deep in an 8-4 loss to a surprisingly longball-happy group of Kansas City Royals.
The Royals, one of the worst teams in major-league baseball, hit four home runs for the first time in any game since May 2007. One of those was by Yuniesky Betancourt, one of a several ex-Mariners seated in the opposing dugout as Seattle’s three-game win streak came to an abrupt halt.
A crowd of 19,345 looked on dismally as Alberto Callaspo, Brayan Pena and David DeJesus went deep for the visitors. Callaspo just missed adding a fifth Royals homer in the eighth inning, but the ball hit the top of the wall for a single and right fielder Bill Hall threw him out at second trying to leg out an extra-base hit.
Doug Fister, so effective his first three starts for Seattle, yielded three of the longballs in his six-inning effort. Shawn Kelley gave up the fourth one, a two-run blast by DeJesus in the seventh that put the game out of reach.
The Royals entered the game coming off a 1-5 homestand and sporting an 11-27 (.289) record since the All-Star break.
Yet the Mariners, other than their middle-innings flurry, seemed unable to generate much of anything in the way of offense.
The last time the Royals hit four homers in a game, the opposing starter was Cliff Lee – before he became a Cy Young Award winner and staff ace. One of the three homers off Lee in that contest was by Mike Sweeney, who watched from the Mariners’ dugout in this contest.
Back then, Betancourt was Seattle’s starting shortstop and Jose Guillen – looking on injured from the Kansas City dugout in this one – was the Mariners’ right fielder.