9:43 p.m.: Final: Mariners 4, Royals 1.
9:17 p.m.: The Mariners tack on another run in the seventh. Ichiro singled with two outs, stole second, swiped third and scored on Alcides Escobar’s throwing error. It’s 4-1 Mariners heading into the eighth.
8:53 p.m.: Kansas City tied the game in the top of the sixth but, in the bottom half of the inning, Justin Smoak ripped a two-run shot to right field, putting the Mariners up 3-1.
8:23 p.m.: Royals get base runners for the first time since the second inning after Moustakas works a one-out walk and Salvador Perez singles, but Vargas continues to keep Kansas City off the board.
8:11 p.m.: Mike Carp hits a leadoff double in the fourth, but Luke Hochevar strikes out the next three batters to end the inning.
8 p.m.: Vargas is cruising right now. He’s thrown four scoreless innings, giving up just one hit. It’s still 1-0 Mariners heading into the bottom of the fourth.
7:38 p.m.:Mariners get a one-out ground-rule double from Adam Kennedy, but he ends the inning stranded at third. Still 1-0 Seattle after two innings.
7:28 p.m.: Mariners show some nice glove work in the top of the second. After Jeff Francoeur hit a one-out triple just out of the reach of a sliding Mike Carp in left field, Mike Moustakas hit a sharp grounder to second base.
Dustin Ackley fired home to get Francoeur at the plate, one-hopping the ball into catcher Chris Gimenez’s glove at chest level to get the out and save a run.
Still 1-0 Mariners after an inning and a half.
7:19 p.m.: Ichiro puts the Mariners on the board early with his 36th career leadoff home run, which breaks a tie with Bobby Bonds for sixth all-time. It’s 1-0 Mariners after one inning.
7:14 p.m.: Jason Vargas retires the Royals in order in the first.
6:50 p.m.: We’re about 20 minutes away from the first pitch at Safeco Field. There’s a sparse crowd here right now to watch the Mariners open a four-game series with the Royals.
Jason Vargas (7-13, 4.59 ERA) gets the start for the Mariners, while Luke Hochevar (10-10, 4.76) takes the mound for Kansas City.