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March 17, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Mariners at Kansas City Royals: March 17, 2011 game thread

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It’s now an 8-1 game, Royals leading, as we head to the seventh inning. Josh Lueke came on with the bases loaded and two out in the sixth and gave up a two-run, RBI single to right field by Brayan Pena. Rule 5 draft pick Jose Flores, who didn’t look very good at all in walking three guys, gets charged with both runs.
Felix Hernandez was lifted after four innings, 80 pitches. He gave up six runs — three earned — on nine hits, though four of them were infield singles. Hernandez also struck out seven and yes, he pronounced himself right on schedule to start the year.
“I feel pretty good, I feel strong,” Hernandez said. “I’ve been throwing a lot of strikes. I think I need to throw more balls because they were hitting everything.”
Well, not exactly. The Royals used their speed to drive the M’s and their infielders nuts.
Royals leadoff man Jarrod Dyson had three of the infield hits and scored three runs.
“That leadoff hitter can fly,” Hernandez said. “He got most of their base hits and I went ‘Sheez!’ Like, ‘Wow!’ ”
Hernandez was pretty funny through most of his post-outing session. He doesn’t seem too broken up about his performance. If the game actually counted, he might be. He’ll get over it.

7:20 p.m.: Felix Hernandez and the Mariners are getting hammered, 6-1, after four innings by a speedy Kansas City Royals team that also flashed some power against the reigning Cy Young Award winner.
Billy Butler added a fourth KC run in the third inning, leading off with a solo homer to dead center. Then, in the fourth, Chris Getz reached on an infield hit and later took third when Hernandez threw a pickoff attempt down the right field line.
A sacrifice fly to right brought Getz home. Jarrod Dyson then beat out an infield hit, stole second, then scored on a single to left by Lorenzo Cain.
So, rough night for Hernandez so far.
6:34 p.m.: Not often you see a three-run single. But that’s what we just witnessed in the bottom of the second inning as the Royals scored three unearned runs off Felix Hernandez on the same single by Lorenzo Cain.
Hernandez got two easy outs to start the inning, but then a grounder hit shortstop Brendan Ryan in the hand and bounced away for an error. Two singles later, the bases were loaded and then Cain lashed a ball into right field.
Two runs scored on the single. Cain took a wide turn at first base and got caught up in a rundown. But first baseman Matt Tuiasosopo looked a bit confused about what to do in thew rundown and by the time the M’s applied a tag on Cain, speedy Jarrod Dyson had crossed home plate — scampering all the way from first base on the play.
So, it’s now 3-1 for the Royals.
Sheesh. It is spring training, though. You see stuff like that at this time of year.
6:24 p.m.: Now that was quite the performance by Felix Hernandez in the first inning. The Royals put runners on second and third with nobody out after an infield hit, a walk and a wild-pitch.
But then Hernandez reared back and struck out the side, getting Billy Butler, Kila Ka’Aihue and Alex Gordon on swinging strikes.
The pro-Mariners crowd here went nuts.
6:11 p.m.: Ryan Langerhans just smacked a one-out offering from Jeff Francis straight over the wall in dead center to give the M’s a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Langerhans entered the game hitting .409 with a .458 OBP and a .636 slugging percentage in 22 at-bats this spring. He’s getting after it.
Michael Saunders had best start doing the same or Langerhans will be backing up Milton Bradley to start the season.
5:54 p.m.: Felix Hernandez continues his spring tune-up tonight, followed by a bunch of bullpen candidates trying to nail down a spot. We’ll see Denny Bautista, Cesar Jimenez, Justin Miller, Royce ring, Jose Flores and Josh Lueke.
Jack Wilson was a late scratch, as he’s said to be attending to a personal matter. Dustin Ackley leads off in his place.
In other news, David Aardsma and Miguel Olivo were playing catch on flat-ground today. If the M’s see them playing catch in a real game before the third or fourth week in April, they’ll be thrilled.
The lineups:
2B Dustin Ackley
LF Ryan Langerhans
SS Brendan Ryan
DH Jack Cust
1B Matt Tuiasosopo
CF Michael Saunders
C Adam Moore
RF Gabe Gross
3B Josh Wilson
RHP Felix Hernandez
CF Jarrod Dyson
RF Lorenzo Cain
DH Billy Butler
1B Kila Ka’Aihue
LF Alex Gordon
3B Wilson Betemit
C Brayan Pena
2B Chris Getz
SS Alcides Escobar
LHP Jeff Francis (Canadian guy)

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan


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