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Mariners nearly hitless as Royals’ Jakob Junis carries no-hitter into seventh

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Monday, April 9, 2018, against the Mariners in Kansas City, Missouri.
 walks off the field after being relieved in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Detroit. Junis took a shutout into the eighth inning, and the Royals won 1-0 for their first victory of the season. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Monday, April 9, 2018, against the Mariners in Kansas City, Missouri. walks off the field after being relieved in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Detroit. Junis took a shutout into the eighth inning, and the Royals won 1-0 for their first victory of the season. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)
By Dave Skretta Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jakob Junis carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, the Royals scored more runs than they had in their last six games combined, and Kansas City routed the Seattle Mariners 10-0 on Monday night.

Junis (2-0) hit three batters and walked two, but the quick-working right-hander did not allow a hit until Daniel Vogelbach’s grounder up the middle with one out in the seventh.

Junis finished up the inning without any more trouble, running his scoreless streak to 14 innings to start the season. He was given a standing ovation when his night was done by the announced crowd of 12,324, most of whom promptly filed out with temperatures just above freezing.

By that point, everybody in the Royals lineup but Drew Butera had scored off Marco Gonzales (1-1) and the Seattle bullpen – and all the catcher had done was drive in a couple of runs.

Mike Moustakas homered in the eighth off infielder Taylor Motter as Seattle saved its bullpen.

Gonzalez allowed four runs, eight hits and a walk for the Mariners while retiring seven batters, and reliever Casey Lawrence promptly allowed five more runs while getting five more outs.

Kansas City’s offensive outburst on a cold, blustery night came out of nowhere. The club had been held to a single run in four of its previous five games, and two runs in the other. The Royals hadn’t scored more than three runs in a game since a season-opening 14-7 loss to the White Sox.

They had three runs in the first inning alone Monday night.

They tacked on another in the third before a five-spot in the fifth, a half-inning that lasted so long it was a wonder Junis didn’t cool off – or freeze entirely – while sitting in the dugout.

Instead, he trotted back out and worked a four-pitch sixth inning that lasted about 2 minutes in real time. And after he finally yielded a single to Vogelbach in the seventh, Junis struck out Guillermo Heredia and got Ichiro Suzuki to fly out to cap his dominant performance.

Seattle finished with two hits and left five runners on base.

Trainer’s room

Mariners DH Nelson Cruz (sprained right ankle) and C Mike Zunino (left oblique strain) resumed baseball activities Monday, and both could be back this weekend. OF Ben Gamel (right oblique strain) is getting at-bats at Tacoma and is also close to returning.

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