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Walker strong for five innings but Mariners fall to Royals split squad

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Seattle right-hander Taijuan Walker pitched five strong innings Saturday after getting roughed up in his previous start, but the Mariners lost 5-4 to the Kansas City Royals in a split-squad game on Saturday.

Walker, who gave up four runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings on Monday, limited the Royals to one run on four hits, while striking out four and walking none. Jorge Bonifacio homered leading off the third for the only run off Walker.

Right-hander Joakim Soria, a free agent the Royals signed to a three-year contract in December, worked two innings for the first time. He allowed one hit and struck out three, bringing his total to nine strikeouts in six scoreless innings.

Minor leaguer Logan Moon, who went to Blue Springs South High in the Kansas City suburbs, hit a two-run double off Joe Wieland in the Royals’ four-run eighth.

In the Mariners’ other game, Felix Hernandez struck out four batters in four innings, but the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Mariners 4-2.