The M’s are through six painful innings here at Kauffman Stadium, where they trail 5-0 despite a plethora of baserunners. We saw them put runners on second and third with one out against Tim Collins in the sixth after a Luis Rodriguez double. But then Michael Saunders went down swinging and Chris Gimenez looking.
So, that’s 0-for-6 with RISP and eight guys left on base.
Felix Hernandez came out after five innings. He’d thrown only 90 pitches but why waste his arm any more than that on a cold day when his team has virtually no chance of winning. I know, I know…it’s not the eighth inning yet. But Aaron Laffey got the team through a scoreless sixth. Josh Lueke is warming up, so we’ll see whether he keeps this from getting any further out of hand.
King Felix didn’t have his defense behind him today and, as we know, even great kings need their court. Not just the jesters, either.
11:51 a.m.: Well, the M’s just let a middle reliever with an ERA of 11.25 get through five scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Sean O’Sullivan clearly had some smoke and mirrors going, but still, it’s now a 5-0 game after the Royals scored three in the fifth off Felix Hernandez.
All the runs were unearned after a Chone Figgins error to start the inning off. A two-out double by Alex Gordon went over the head of Ryan Langerhans in center to bring home a pair and then a single by Billy Butler brought a third marker in. The sun is becoming a big issue for the Mariners. Langerhans appeared to get a bad read on the double and the M’s are making every pop fly into an adventure.
11:27 a.m.: Seattle trails 2-0 after four innings as the M’s once again failed to capitalize in the fourth, then saw the Royals take full advantage of the contact they made.
The Mariners had some bad luck in the top of the inning as Jack Cust hit a one-out, bloop single to left that might have been a double if he had any speed. Cust then might have scored on a single to right by Justin Smoak had he been on second and possessed any speed.
A walk to Luis Rodriguez loaded the bases with one out and then Michael Saunders hit a fly ball to shallow left. Cust might have tagged up if…you guessed it… he had any speed. But he doesn’t, so he held. Chris Gimenez then swung and missed on an Olivo-ian-looking strikeout to end the threat.
The Royals then came out and saw Alex Gordon rip a single off Smoak’s glove. A walk to Billy Butler put two on and a fielder’s choice left runners at the corners. Melky Cabrera then lined a ball to left and Gordon scored easily on the tag-up.
10:44 a.m.: Felix Hernandez didn’t give up any hard-hit balls in the second inning, but still trails 1-0 after two innings because three M’s were unable to corral a pop-up to shallow center by Melky Cabrera. The ball fell in for a double and then Mike Aviles rolled a hopper up the middle for a run-scoring single.
10:28 a.m.: We’re scoreless after an inning of play. The Mariners got a two-out walk from Ryan Langerhans, but Jack Cust flew out to left. Jarrod Dyson, perhaps the fastest man in baseball, drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning. But Felix Hernandez kept him pinned pretty close to the bag. Dyson finally stole second with two out in the inning, but Billy Butler went down swinging.
10:06 a.m.: Felix Hernandez gets the chance to save his team from further despair today, though he’s coming off his own struggles against Toronto last Monday. Hernandez trailed 7-0 when he left that game, but the M’s rallied for an improbable 8-7 win.
Seems like a long time ago.
Watch that Jarrod Dyson guy at the top of the order for the Royals. He gave Hernandez fits in a spring training game, using his speed to run the M’s ragged.
3B Chone Figgins
CF Ryan Langerhans
DH Jack Cust
1B Justin Smoak
2B Luis Rodriguez
LF Michael Saunders
C Chris Gimenez
SS Brendan Ryan
RHP Felix Hernandez
CF Jarrod Dyson
2B Chris Getz
LF Alex Gordon
DH Billy Butler
1B Kila Ka’aihue
RF Melky Cabrera
3B Mike Aviles
C Matt Treanor
SS Alcides Escobar
RHP Sean O’Sullivan