Mariners give up 5-run lead, lose to Royals in 13
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)
That should have been enough, but the Kansas City Royals battled back and won 7-6 on Mike Moustakas' home run to lead off the 13th inning.
Saunders, 4-0 with a 2.81 ERA in seven career starts against the Royals coming in, could not make it through the fifth inning.
Saunders gave up a two-run homer to Alex Gordon and an RBI single to Salvador Perez in the fifth. When Justin Maxwell walked to load the bases, Saunders was replaced by Brandon Maurer, who struck out pinch hitter Carlos Pena on three pitches to end the inning.
''Nothing changed,'' Saunders said of the fifth. ''I made some good pitches. It was just tough to get the last out. I threw a breaking ball to Gordon and he put a pretty good swing on it. I tried to regroup. My pitch count was skyrocketing quick and I tried to get out of it and I couldn't. I had plenty left in my tank.''
Saunders allowed three runs and 11 hits and a walk in 4 2-3 innings. In his past six starts, he is 1-3, allowing 50 hits, including six home runs, in 31 2-3 innings.
After Maurer retired the first four he faced, he gave up four consecutive hits to start a three-run seventh for the Royals.
''Maurer came out great,'' Indians manager Eric Wedge said. ''He got a big strikeout and ran through the next inning. For whatever reason, we've seen him do that . he has trouble getting somebody out then. His stuff is too good for that.
''Between that and Joe having trouble getting the final out in the fifth inning, that was the difference for us on the mound today. We popped out 5-0 and Joe made it tough for himself in that fifth inning.''
With the Mariners trailing 6-5, pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez homered off Greg Holland with two outs in the ninth to tie the score. It was Holland's first blown save since May 6 to end his streak of 31 consecutive saves.
''He likes being up there in those situations,'' Wedge said. ''Anytime one swing of the bat alters the course of the game, you like him up there.''
Ibanez drove a full-count pitch into the Seattle bullpen for his 26th home run.
''I was just trying to put the ball in play, swing easy and look for his best fastball,'' Ibanez said. ''I got enough of it.''
Moustakas hit an 0-2 pitch from Chance Ruffin to right leading off the 13th to end it. It was Ruffin's first major league appearance since 2011.
''I was trying to get the fastball down and in,'' Ruffin said. ''He turned on it pretty good. The one he hit out was supposed to be in. I left it in the middle.''
Louis Coleman (3-0), the eighth Royals pitcher, retired the only batter he faced in the top of the 13th.
Billy Butler went 5 for 5, matching his career high in hits for the Royals, while Emilo Bonifacio went 4 for 6 for his first four-hit game since July 4, 2009.
The teams combined to use 44 players, including 14 pitchers.
The Mariners threatened in the 11th when Dustin Ackley singled and Nick Franklin walked. Kelvin Herrera, the sixth Royals pitcher, replaced Tim Collins and struck out Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Zunino to end the inning.
Butler drove in the tying run with his fourth single in a three-run seventh. Justin Maxwell's sacrifice fly scored Butler to put the Royals up 6-5.
Royals catcher Salvador Perez went 3 for 3 with a double and RBI, but left in the fifth with dizziness.
Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer in the Mariners' three-run first. It was Smoak's third home run in 13 at-bats off Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie. Kendrys Morales singled home Abraham Almonte, who had doubled, with the first Seattle run.
Eric Hosmer's fielding error in the third allowed Kyle Seager to score another run. The Mariners made it 5-0 in the fourth on Brad Miller's sacrifice fly.
Guthrie was pulled after six innings, allowing five runs and seven hits and two walks.
NOTES: Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, will miss his scheduled start Sunday and has been pushed back to Wednesday. Hernandez left his Monday start against the Royals in the seventh inning with lower back cramps. ''He wants to start on Sunday and we understand that,'' Wedge said. ''He felt a lot better yesterday and feels better again today. He's going to go out and play some catch, but we're going to be cautious with him.''