Mariners 6, Royals 4
Back from Japan, the Seattle Mariners needed a few innings on
the field to brush off the jetlag and snap out of their
Miguel Olivo and Kyle Seager hit consecutive home runs during a
six-run sixth inning and Seattle rallied past the Kansas City
Royals 6-4 Sunday in its first game since opening the regular
season at Tokyo Dome.
The Mariners split two midweek games against Oakland in Japan,
and their regulars hadn’t played since Thursday. Given two days to
get readjusted back in the United States, players nevertheless
acknowledged they were still a bit sluggish.
Munenori Kawasaki had three hits for the Mariners, who used six
projected starters. He had two hits in the sixth inning alone.
Olivo’s three-run homer tied it at 4. Seager, batting .357,
followed with his fourth home run of the spring.
”I did some work this offseason to try to use my hips and my
shoulders a little bit more,” Seager said. ”It’s just spring
training and everything, but it feels good to be able to drive the
ball a little more.”
Two walks later, Kawasaki singled in a run for his second hit of
”In that inning, we all woke up and we started to hit,” Olivo
said, adding that it felt like early morning to him. ”You know, we
were still feeling like we were on Japanese time. I think by
(Monday) it’ll pass, hopefully.”
Mike Moustakas homered and hit a two-run double for the Royals,
who played their projected opening day lineup. Bruce Chen struck
out six and walked one while allowing three hits in four shutout
innings, his final tuneup before starting the season opener Friday
against the Los Angeles Angels.
”Bruce was dialed in. He just kind of real quickly got to
midseason form,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. ”Using his
fastball, changing speeds, keeping the ball down. Another good
outing. He’s ready.”
Four earned runs were charged to Royals reliever Tim Collins,
who got only two outs. Alcides Escobar had three hits for Kansas
City and Jeff Francoeur added two.
Seattle’s Blake Beavan made his last start of spring training
and is next scheduled to pitch April 10 in Texas in his
regular-season debut. He allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 1-3
The Mariners set their starting rotation for the first full week
of games, with Jason Vargas going Friday in Oakland, followed by
ace Felix Hernandez on Saturday. Hector Noesi pitches April 9 in
Texas and Kevin Millwood on April 11.
Vargas starts again April 12 and Hernandez gets the ball April
13 for Seattle’s home opener.
NOTES: Four Mariners were sent home early – 2B Dustin Ackley, OF
Carlos Peguero, OF Michael Saunders and LHP George Sherrill – due
to illness. A flulike virus has spread through the clubhouse. …
SS Brendan Ryan was given another day off since the team’s return
from Japan but is expected to be in the lineup Monday. … The
Mariners released RHP Aaron Heilman from minor league camp.
Heilman, who has pitched in the majors for nine seasons, had been a
non-roster invitee this spring before being reassigned. … The
Royals conclude spring training in Arizona with a workout Monday
morning, then play the San Diego Padres in an exhibition game
Tuesday night. ”I think we’re ready to go,” Yost said.