Vargas, Royals topple Mariners
SEATTLE – Jason Vargas allowed three hits over seven innings and the Kansas Royals had 16 hits – all singles – in a 6-1 win over the Mariners Friday night.
Vargas (3-1), who pitched for the Mariners for four seasons (2009-12), struck out six without a walk. He is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in four career starts against his former team.
It also was the first road victory for Vargas, who signed a four-year, free-agent deal with the Royals in November.
Salvador Perez, Eric Gordon and Eric Hosmer had three hits each for the Royals while Nori Aoki and Lorenzo Cain had two each.
The Mariners have two runs and 10 hits over the past three games.
The first hit Vargas allowed came in the third, an infield single by Mike Zunino. The other hits were Dustin Ackley’s line single to center in the fifth and Robinson Cano’s ground single to right in the seventh.
The Royals pieced together rallies off Brandon Maurer (1-1). Only one run scored on a hit. The remainder scored on an error, a sacrifice fly, a double play and two on fielder’s choices.
Aoki opened the game with a single to right followed by Hosmer’s single to right, with Aoki sprinting to third. Aoki scored on Billy Butler’s bouncer to third baseman Willie Bloomquist, who tried but failed to start a double play when he threw wildly to second, appearing to pull Cano off the bag. However, after a review, Cano was credited with a putout.
Hosmer’s sacrifice fly in the third put the Royals up 2-0.
Mariners shortstop Brad Miller’s throwing error in the fourth allowed two more runs.
Perez opened with a single followed by a bunt single by Gordon. Johnny Giavotella then bounced a potential double-play ball to short but Miller’s flip to second sailed into right field and Perez scored.
Gordon later scored the second run in the fourth on Cain’s double-play grounder.
Kansas City made it 5-0 in the sixth when Butler scored on Giavotella’s fielder’s choice.
Cain’s one-out single in the eighth scored Perez from second to make it 6-0, ending Maurer’s evening. He allowed all six runs – four earned. He didn’t have a walk or strikeout. The 14 hits Maurer allowed were just one short of the team record set by Greg Hibbard on May 24, 1994.
The Mariners scored in the eighth off reliever Aaron Crow. Miller drew a one-out walk. Pinch-hitter James Jones then stroked a two-out double into the right-field corner. Miller had stopped at third then trotted home on right-fielder Aoki’s throwing error.
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