“It’s about scoring runs,” said M’s manager Don Wakamatsu, echoing the season’s endless refrain. “And we didn’t score any runs tonight.”
Russell Branyan, who accounted for the only Seattle run with a fourth-inning homer, said KC starter Bruce Chen was deceiving, changing arm angles, keeping the M’s off-balance and not giving them much in the middle of the plate. But Branyan added, “We’re all professionals here. We’ve got to do a better job with guys like that. He wasn’t overpowering. I know I swung at a 3-2 breaking ball out of the zone. We could have done a better job of waiting him out, getting a better pitch to hit.”
Series finale Sunday at 1:10, Jason Vargas and Kyle Davies. Then a three-game series with the A’s starts Monday night and will end a nine-game homestand Wednesday afternoon.
Final: KC 2, Seattle 1
It was at least interesting in the 9th, but still frustrating for the M’s, who got Chone Figgins aboard on a leadoff single before Royals ace closer Joakim Soria got busy. He retired Casey Kotchman on a slow roller, blew three fastballs by Russell Branyan, and then put a fastball on the outside corner that Franklin Gutierrez fanned on to end it.
It’s Soria’s 31st save, and tied a club record of 24 straight also held by Jeff Montgomery.
Heading into the 9th . . .
Jack Wilson’s hit with two out in the eighth may have turned out to be an albatross for the M’s. Instead of Ichiro leading off the bottom of the ninth, probably against ace Royals closer Joakim Soria, it’ll be Chone Figgins, trying to add to the M’s four-hit total for the night.
It’s 2-1, Royals, with David Aardsma coming on for the Royals ninth.
KC may not have to rue the fact Billy Butler cost them in the top of the eighth. After his leadoff double, Figgins cut him down at third on a bouncer on which Butler clearly didn’t anticipate a play being made on him. Sean White and Garrett Olson got out of the inning to keep Seattle within a run.
After 5 . . .
Branyan’s bomb in the fourth to dead centerfield off a hanging curve from Bruce Chen makes it 2-1, KC.
Aside from that, M’s aren’t getting much done against Chen.
Maybe this provides a hint: M’s, with 360 runs, are last in the major leagues. Two AL teams, the Yankees and Red Sox, have at least 200 more runs than Seattle. Five other AL teams have more than 500 runs, and four more in the National League have more than 500.
The next-worst scoring team in the game is Pittsburgh, at 378. Not often the AL’s worst is even more downtrodden than the National’s.
Through 3 1/2 . . .
Sorry for the mechanical/operator errors, guys; I blog at about the frequency of Mariner divisional championships, so . . .
M’s broke through on Chen for Jack Wilson’s two-out hit in the third, their first of the game. But nothing more.
Pauley pulled himself out of a two-on jam in the fourth as Chris Seddon warmed up, so it’s still 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth.
Not much stickwork by the M’s against a pitcher, Bruce Chen, who has a 2.05 WHIP in his last five starts. So far, it’s six up and six down for the locals.
Meanwhile, David Pauley is struggling. He’s thrown 46 pitches in two innings and trails 2-0 after the Royals’ two-run second.
FYI, Royals, who were tops in the AL in hitting in their last trip in in early July, are now No. 2 to Minnesota, at .278. M’s are last in the league at .236 — 12 points behind the next-worst-hitting team, Cleveland, at .248