GALLARDO GETS M’S THROUGH FIVE BUT PEN CAN’T HOLD
What happened: Brandon Moss homered twice, including a two-out solo homer in the eighth inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Seattle Mariners 6-4 in the first of a crucial four-game series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
The Royals (56-51) rallied for two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth, two more in the seventh and Moss’s homer in the eighth.
Mariners starter Yovani Gallardo gave up three runs on three hits and three walks with just one strikeout over five innings. Reliever Emilio Pagan, coughed up three more runs, two earned, on four hits with neither a walk nor a K.
The M’s went 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position, left nine men on base and made an extra out on the basepaths.
Kyle Seager and Danny Valencia homered for the Mariners (55-55), who have dropped two in a row after a modest four-game winning streak and trail the Royals by 2 1/2 games for the second wildcard spot.
- The M’s got things going in the season. Kyle Seager laced a one-out solo homer just inside the right field fair pole, his 15th of the season. Danny Valencia walked and after a nice ovation from the Royals crowd, Jarrod Dyson singled in his first appearance back in Kansas City.
- But Valencia was picked off at second after straying too far from the base on a ball that bounced in to catcher Salvador Perez, and Guillermo Heredia struck out to end the inning.
- With two down in the third, Jean Segura reached on an error by 3B Mike Moustakas, stole second after several pickoff attempts, then stole third. Robinson Cano walked, but Nelson Cruz tapped out to the pitcher to end the threat.
- Valencia added to M’s lead in the fourth, but not without controversy. His line drive to the right field corner appeared to sneak inside the pole, but the TV replay wasn’t particularly clear – though in slo-mo it looked like the ball disappeared behind the pole and bounced off the arm of a seat in the first row then took a funny bounce. After replay, the homer call stood and the run went on the board. It was Valencia’s 12th home run of the season.
- Royals manager Ned Yost came out for more discussion and was ejected for arguing with the TV replay decision.
- K.C. tied it in the fifth. Moustakas led off with a walk and Brandon Moss, who entered play hitting .207, hammered his 13th homer of the season to right-center.
- The M’s made it 3-2 in the sixth. Valencia led off with a double, went to third on a sac bunt by Dyson, and scored on Heredia’s single to center.
- The Royals tied it again in the bottom. Lorenzo Cain walked and stole second. Marc Rzepcynski replaced Gallardo and picked up a 4-3 double play. They walked Perez, then Moustakas bounced one up the middle to plate Cain from third.
- Righty Emilio Pagan took over in the seventh and immediately ran into trouble. Alcides Escobar led off with a single and went to second on a sac bunt by Alex Gordon. Whit Merrifield topped one to third and Seager made the play on it, but Valencia couldn’t hold the throw and all hands were safe, with Escobar moving to third. Cain followed with a single and the Royals went up 4-3.
- Melky Cabrera lashed one through the hole and Merrifield scored, but Gordon was put out 7-1-4 while the run scored.
- Moss hit his second homer of the night to make it 6-3 in the eighth.
Every game down the stretch is important with regard to the Mariners’ chances for a wildcard spot, but right now it’s Kansas City that holds the spot the M’s are chasing. Anything less than a split of the four-games is unacceptable for the M’s and the Royals already have the first game under their belts.
Tweet of the Day
Players of the Game
Hero: Yovani Gallardo. It wasn’t a shutout or anything, but another solid outing to keep Mariners in the game.
Goat: Emilio Pagan. Tough night for a guy that’s been really good this season.
Seattle Mariners (55-55) at Kansas City Royals (56-51) on Friday at 5:15 p.m. at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. LHP James Paxton (11-3, 2.68) against RHP Jason Hammel (5-8, 4.75).
What others are saying (and writing)
The Kansas City fans gave Jarrod Dyson a standing ovation when he stepped to the plate for the first time yesterday. That was nice. Maybe they knew they could be magnanimous, because the Mariners’ bullpen wouldn’t be able to hold a lead. … KC manager Ned Yost must have wanted to get ejected last night. Everyone knows you can’t argue a replay call. But he did when Valencia’s home run was upheld.
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