Royals struggle to find power again in Seattle, lose 3-1
MAY 11, 2014 12:21a ET
SEATTLE -- Yordano Ventura made mistakes and the Seattle Mariners capitalized on them.
Chris Young wasn't so kind.
The Kansas City Royals became the latest team to get a firsthand look at just how well a resurgent Young can pitch, managing just three hits against Seattle's starter over eight innings in a 3-1 loss to the Mariners on Saturday night.
"He is one of the more deceptive guys I've faced," Kansas City designated hitter Billy Butler said. "He is really tall, got downward angle -- really good with the elevated fastball."
Young (3-0) was efficient with his 96 pitches, striking out three and walking none. A day after lashing out 16 singles, the Royals' lineup was set down in order in five of Young's nine innings.
Young missed most of 2013 after having surgery done to address a nerve ailment that affects his shoulder.
It is the first time Young has thrown at least eight innings since he tossed a complete game for the San Diego Padres in 2008. Young didn't play last season and pitched sparingly from 2009-12.
"I've said all along, he's a veteran guy that knows what he's doing, what he wants to do," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "When he's capable of executing his pitches, he's pretty tough."
The four hits -- Kansas City picked up a single in the ninth -- tied a season-low for the Royals, who have struggled to find power during their time in Seattle. Of its 23 hits in three games thus far in the series, Kansas City has just one extra-base hit.
The Royals took an early lead, thanks to a fielding gaffe by Seattle's Michael Saunders. The right fielder fell awkwardly as he attempted to field a ball hit by Mike Moustakas down the line in the third inning. The ball went to the wall and Moustakas pulled into third with a triple.
The Royals took advantage of the opportunity as Alcides Escobar followed with a sacrifice fly to left to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead.
Saunders had to leave the game after the inning and was diagnosed with a hyperextended left knee. He is considered day to day.
Yordano Ventura (2-2) was not able to hold the lead thanks in large part to the long ball.
Justin Smoak gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead in the fourth, hitting a no-doubter into the seats in right field for a two-run home run. Dustin Ackley added a solo shot to right in the sixth inning.
Ventura allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander issued a season-high four walks, while notching a season-low three strikeouts.
"You know, he threw the ball really well," Royals skipper Ned Yost said. "The pitch to Smoak wasn't a bad pitch, it was down and in that he got the head out on. The pitch to Ackley was a changeup that he drove into the seats. But outside of that, it was OK."
Fernando Rodney pitched around a two-out single in the ninth inning to record his 11th save in 12 attempts.
Royals manager Ned Yost challenged a ruling that Robinson Cano was safe at second in the seventh trying to advance on a wild pitch. The call was reversed after a delay of 2 minutes, 27 seconds.
NOTES: Sunday's series finale will pit Seattle LHP Roenis Elias against Kansas City RHP Jeremy Guthrie. ... Mariners rookie James Jones hit in the leadoff spot for the first time in his career. Manager Lloyd McClendon said Jones, who hit .306 in the minors from the top spot in the lineup, is a "prototypical leadoff guy." ... Home plate umpire Scott Barry left Saturday's game following the third inning after appearing to take a pitch off his right hand. Crew chief Jeff Nelson took over behind the plate and the game finished with three umpires. X-Rays on the hand were negative and Barry is expected to umpire at second base Sunday.