Royals unable to solve Mariners’ Gonzales in 4-1 loss
SEATTLE — Marco Gonzales was looking for some retribution against the Kansas City Royals.
Gonzales (8-5) pitched a six-hitter for his first career complete game in the Seattle Mariners’ 4-1 victory on Friday. The left-hander struck out seven and didn’t issue a walk while throwing just 96 pitches.
“My last outing against these guys didn’t go great — my second start of the year, I think — so I was looking for some payback, too. So I was a little more amped than usual,” Gonzales said.
Mitch Haniger and Mike Zunino homered for Seattle.
Gonzales had been chased after just 2.1 innings of what became a 10-0 loss on April 9, but Friday’s start was much different. Gonzalez, who’d never taken a game into the eighth inning until going 7.1 innings against Tampa Bay earlier this month, didn’t need more than 13 pitches to finish any inning against the Royals.
“He has a lot of confidence right now because everything that’s happened to him this year, he’s earned,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
Whit Merrifield singled to lead off the game and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rosell Herrera. Gonzales picked Merrifield off second base to erase the baserunner and would retire nine straight batters before running into a spot of trouble in the fourth.
Herrera doubled off the glove of left fielder Denard Span with one out. An infield single from Mike Moustakas put runners on the corners, but Gonzales induced an inning-ending double play from Salvador Perez to keep the Royals off the board.
“The way that we’ve been playing and the fun that we’ve been having, I can’t wait for my fifth day to come,” Gonzales said. “To be able to go out there and contribute in a positive way and have these guys rally behind you is pretty incredible.”
Royals starter Ian Kennedy (1-8) retired the first 10 batters he faced before running into trouble in the fourth. Jean Segura reached on an infield single to give Seattle its first baserunner of the game. Haniger followed with a two-run blast over the center-field wall to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
After fouling off three straight pitches with a 2-2 count, Zunino blasted a solo home run two rows from the top of the upper deck in left field to extend the Mariners’ lead to 3-0 in the fifth.
Kennedy left after 5.0 innings due to tightness in his left side that surfaced on the last pitch to Zunino.
“I felt it grab,” Kennedy said. “And then the rest of the inning it stayed tight. The last couple pitches I was compensating for it, so I knew … the right thing to do is to say something.”
Segura added a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning off Brandon Maurer to give Seattle a 4-0 advantage.
Adalberto Mondesi doubled to open the ninth and Moustakas delivered a two-out single to center field to drive home the only run of the game for the Royals.
Kennedy on the left side tightness he dealt with against the #Mariners: “I knew I could still pitch with it, but the right thing to do is to say something. I would say it’s pretty mild, but I think the real test is to weigh how I wake up tomorrow.” #Royals pic.twitter.com/syGNaMfU5u
— FOX Sports Kansas City (@FSKansasCity) June 30, 2018
Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio was recalled and back in the lineup for the Royals on Friday after completing an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Bonifacio was suspended in March after testing positive for Boldenone, which is an anabolic androgenic steroid. Bonifacio started the game in left field and went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. He hit .255 with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs in 113 games as a rookie in 2017. IF Ryan Goins was designated for assignment on Thursday to clear a roster spot. “It was a tough time down there in Arizona. But I learned from it. It’s never going to happen again,” Bonifacio said.
Royals: C Perez was back in the lineup after exiting Wednesday’s game in Milwaukee in the ninth inning after taking a foul ball off his right leg.
Mariners: 3B Kyle Seager was back in the lineup after making only a pinch-hit appearance in Baltimore on Thursday. Seager has an “avulsion fracture” in his big toe and was given the day off in the field to rest. It’s not expected to require a disabled list stint and Seager is planning to play through the injury.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (2-9) will make his 17th start of the season on Saturday. Hammel has lost four straight starts and has allowed at least three earned runs in three of the four outings.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (7-6) will take the hill for the 18th time this season as he looks to continue a run of strong starts. After a rough first two months of the season, Hernandez has allowed just one earned run in three of his five starts in June.