KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Ryan Shealy is auditioning for a job next year to be the Kansas City Royals’ first baseman. So far, the tryout has gone well.
Shealy, John Buck and David DeJesus homered and Kansas City beat the Seattle Mariners 6-3 Tuesday night to extend its winning streak to five games.
Shealy’s home run was his fifth in nine games since a Sept. 2 call-up from Triple-A Omaha. His shot with Mike Aviles aboard chased Brandon Morrow in the fifth.
“He’s done a great job of seizing an opportunity that he’s been given,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “I don’t think there is a guy in the clubhouse that’s not pulling for him. To do what he’s done since the call-up, hit five balls out of the ballpark and take it out to center today, that’s pretty impressive.”
The Mariners are 0-6 to start an 11-game, three-city trip and have lost 10 of 13.
Shealy and DeJesus homered in a four-run fifth. DeJesus led off the inning with his first home run in 178 at-bats since a shot in the ninth off Morrow on July 12.
Before the big inning, Morrow struck out Shealy in the second and fourth.
“He made me look silly in my first two at-bats,” Shealy said. “I just wanted to get a pitch down. He was wearing me out with that fastball up and I was having trouble laying off of it. The one I hit was down a little bit more and I could get to it.
“I was really battling that at-bat. Fortunately, he supplied a lot of that power. I was really just trying to get the runner over to third, but it worked out way better.”
Shealy, who is hitting .371 with 11 RBIs in nine games, knows a big September could help secure a job next April.
“It’s huge,” he said. “I’ve been trying to work my way back up here. It’s been great. Hopefully, I’ll keep it going.”
Morrow, who held the New York Yankees hitless for 72/3 innings in his first big league start Sept. 5, faced four batters in the fifth and retired none. Morrow (2-4) gave up six runs and eight hits.
“I was really poor mechanically,” he said. “All my momentum was going to my left instead of going to the plate. Everything was dying. I knew it was going on during the game, but it’s kind of hard to make adjustments. Things just weren’t happening for me. It was just one to forget tonight.”
Jose Lopez homered in the fourth off Brandon Duckworth (3-1) for the first Seattle run. Jeremy Reed’s sacrifice fly in the sixth scored Yuniesky Betancourt for the other run off Duckworth. Lopez doubled and scored on Reed’s single to start the ninth off Ramon Ramirez, the fourth of five Kansas City pitchers. Joakim Soria replaced Ramirez and got three outs for his 39th save in 42 opportunities.
Ichiro Suzuki had an infield single in the third for his 197th hit. He needs three hits to reach 200 for the eighth straight year, which would tie a big-league record. Willie Keeler did it from 1894-1901.
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