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Mariners come so close once again

Royals hand Seattle 15th extra-inning defeat

SEATTLE – With their playoff dreams basically dashed since the end of the July, the Seattle Mariners are now playing to crush the postseason hopes of someone else. The Kansas City Royals arrived in Safeco Field with playoff chances that were somewhere between slim and “yeah right.”

But there was a mathematical chance and losing wasn’t part of that equation.

For much of Monday night, it appeared the Mariners might do just that. But in the end, Seattle suffered yet another extra-inning defeat in a season filled with them, losing 6-5 in 12 innings.

Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez lashed a double to left field off Lucas Luetge to score Alex Gordon from second and provide the game-winning run.

The Mariners had their chances in the bottom of the 12th. Abraham Almonte and Kyle Seager drew back-to-back walks off the Royals’ All-Star closer, Greg Holland. But the Mariners couldn’t do anything with them. Kendrys Morales flew out to left field and Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Saunders struck out to end the game.

“We had so many opportunities,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We just didn’t take advantage. So close but yet so far.”

It was the Mariners’ 15th extra-inning loss of the season.

“We’ve been close so many times,” Wedge said.

The extra innings overshadowed a pretty good matchup of young starting pitchers, the Mariners’ Brandon Maurer and the Royals’ Yordano Ventura.

The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth against Maurer. Billy Butler singled home Emilio Bonifacio. On the play, Abraham Almonte showed poor judgment, firing wildly to third base trying to make a play on Eric Hosmer. The throw went over the head of Kyle Seager at third base and Hosmer trotted home.

That would be the only runs Maurer allowed in perhaps his best start of the season as he worked a season-high seven innings.

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