September 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM
Game thread: Mariners 6, Royals 4, FINAL
Kendrys Morales hit a 1-2 pitch from Aaron Crow over the center field fence for a two-run homer in the ninth to give the Mariners a 6-4 lead. Seattle had left eight men on base up to that point. Lucas Luetge positioned for his first win of the year after tossing two scoreless frames.
7:27 p.m.: Kansas City scored four times off Taijuan Walker in the bottom of the fourth to tie it 4-4. Emilio Bonifacio led off with a walk, followed by a single to right by Eric Hosmer. Billy Butler then singled to left to bring home the run and move Hosmer to second base. Hosmer took third on a flyout to right center, then scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Salvador Perez to make it 4-2.
David Lough then doubled to put runners on second and third and Jarrod Dyson hit a bounding ball up the middle (Brendan Ryan likely gets to that if he’s playing) and two more runs crossed the plate. Walker’s pitch count is right around what Eric Wedge said he’d be limited to so he’s likely done after four innings. Then again, there’s nobody warming up, so maybe he’ll send him back out to at least start the fifth.
6:18 p.m.: Seattle scored two more runs in the fourth to chase an erratic-looking Ervin Sanatana from the game and take a 4-0 lead. Raul Ibanez led off with a double to right field that missed being a home run by a couple of feet. Justin Smoak walked and then a fielder’s choice put runners at the corners. Another walk loaded the bases and Nick Franklin singled to center to bring the first run home.
Wade Davis came on to pitch from there and uncorked a wild pitch, which scored the second run.
5:45 p.m.: The Mariners grabbed a 2-0 lead off Ervin Santana in the top of the third, with Mike Zunino leading off with a single, followed by a Nick Franklin double that put two on. Brad Miller got the first run home with a sacrifice fly, followed by an RBI single by Franklin Gutierrez. The Mariners had been 1-for-28 with RISP coming in, but now are 1-for-1 tonight.
4:20 p.m.: Mariners fans will get their second look at Taijuan Walker tonight and it will be a much tougher test than what he faced in Houston his first time out. The Kansas City Royals are sneaking back into the second wild card picture and have their eye on pulling off a four-game sweep here to help them along.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said pregame that Walker will be on a pitch count limit similar to the one he had — 70 pitches — against the Astros. You’ll remember that Houston had only two hits off Walker that game, so it might be a test for him to go the full five innings this time if the Royals square some balls up.
The Mariners enter tonight in a 1-for-28 funk with runners in scoring position their last four games on this trip, including 0-for-9 last night. Overall, the Mariners are 44-for-203 (.217) on the trip and averaging just 2.83 runs per game. They have scored just four runs total their last three games, all losses.