(AP) — The Seattle Mariners’ offense has been quite a mystery over the last week, piling up runs one game and failing to produce the next.
The biggest unknown for the Mariners’ game in Kansas City on Tuesday night, however, is the Royals’ stating pitcher.
Seattle (38-53) has split its last six games, combining for 23 runs in the wins while scoring three in the defeats. The Mariners’ offense was on from the start Monday, pushing across five runs in the first inning en route to a 9-4 victory over Kansas City.
Casper Wells had a career-best five RBIs on a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run triple in the second, both coming off Jonathan Sanchez. Justin Smoak also had a two-run homer off Sanchez, while Dustin Ackley hit a solo shot in the sixth inning to cap Seattle’s scoring.
The Mariners have won seven of their last 11 games when hitting at least one homer.
“We can’t control the end result,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We just want to go out there, put together good at-bats, turn around some fastballs, and if we do that, the runs will come.”
Monday’s outburst might not have been that big of a surprise, however, considering Sanchez has a 12.18 ERA over his last four starts.
The beleaguered starter was done after 1 1-3 innings and instead of emptying the bullpen, Royals manager Ned Yost decided to burn Tuesday’s scheduled starter Everett Teaford, who did an admirable job in relief, yielding a run and three hits over five innings.
Teaford’s outing leaves an opening for a starter for Tuesday, though, and the Royals (38-50) announced a replacement wouldn’t be made until sometime on game day.
There is speculation Doug Davis could be called up from the minors to make the start considering he is slated to pitch Tuesday. The veteran left-hander hasn’t pitched in the majors since last June for the Chicago Cubs, and is 5-0 with a 2.83 ERA in six minor league starts this year.
The Mariners are also expected to turn to a minor leaguer on Tuesday, as they’re set to recall Blake Beavan (3-6, 5.92 ERA).
Beavan was sent to the minors after being tagged for six runs in two innings of an 8-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 10. He had an 11.77 ERA in his final three starts before his demotion but pitched much better with Triple-A Tacoma, going 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA in six outings.
In his only career game against the Royals on Sept. 9, the right-hander allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-3 win.
He’ll be facing a Kansas City team that has lost six of seven and 11 of 14.
Royals All-Star Billy Butler belted his 17th homer Monday, but Alex Gordon has been the team’s hottest hitter of late. Gordon went 3 for 4 Monday, and is batting .462 with four doubles during a six-game hitting streak.