KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Brad Miller homered off Royals closer Greg Holland to break a ninth-inning tie, and the Seattle Mariners beat Kansas City 7-5 despite blowing an early five-run lead Friday night.
Charlie Furbush (1-4) inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth, but the Mariners reliever calmly retired Mike Moustakas on a lazy popup to shallow right field. Furbush then struck out Alcides Escobar to silence a sellout crowd of 38,475 and keep the game tied 5-all.
Miller’s homer off Holland (0-2) came on the fifth pitch of his at-bat, and just skirted the foul pole in right field. Logan Morrison drove in another run later in the ninth.
Fernando Rodney allowed two singles in the ninth, but the veteran bounced back to retire pinch-hitter Nori Aoki on a groundout and Alex Gordon swinging to earn his 19th save.
Morrison hit a two-run homer for Seattle, which overcame a subpar start from Hisashi Iwakuma to end the Royals’ five-game winning streak at Kauffman Stadium. Mike Zunino added a solo shot and Robinson Cano drove in two runs, extending his hitting streak to 21 games.
Moustakas hit a two-run shot to lead the Royals, who have dropped two in a row after winning 10 straight. Salvador Perez homered and drove in two runs for Kansas City.
Iwakuma went eight shutout innings in each of his two starts against Kansas City this season, and the right-hander was headed that way again with four scoreless frames to start the game. Along the way, Iwakuma struck out the side in the first inning on just 12 pitches.
Meanwhile, his offense was staking him to a 5-0 lead.
Cano, who has dominated James Shields throughout his career, drove in a run off him in the first inning and another during a three-run fifth that was capped by Morrison’s homer. Zunino’s solo shot came in the fourth inning, a no-doubt rocket over the bullpen in left.
The Royals finally broke through when Perez homered on a meaty 0-2 pitch in the fifth.
They didn’t stop there, either. Lorenzo Cain followed with a double, and Moustakas belted his eighth homer of the season over the wall in right to trim the Royals’ deficit to 5-3.
Iwakuma escaped the inning, but he quickly ran into more trouble in the sixth. Consecutive singles by Billy Butler and Gordon knocked him from the game, and reliever Dominic Leone gave up the lead when Perez hit an RBI single and Moustakas an RBI groundout to make it 5-all.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon burned through three relievers in the inning.
Iwakuma allowed nine hits and a walk in five-plus innings. It was his shortest start since July 9, 2013, when he allowed six runs and eight hits in three innings against the Red Sox.
Shields went seven innings and still has not lost since May 2, a span of nine starts.
NOTES: Royals right-handed batters were 0 for 23 against Iwakuma this season before Butler’s single in the second. Butler had three hits. … Gordon returned after missing a game to illness. … Mariners RHP Chris Young faces Royals LHP Jason Vargas on Saturday.