Mariners 7, Royals 1

Chone Figgins and Ryan Langerhans were the unexpected keys to

the Seattle Mariners finally beating Zach Greinke.

The Kansas City ace had been 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 10 career

starts against Seattle. Those numbers changed drastically after the

Mariners’ 7-1 victory Friday night.

Figgins, who was hitless in 21 career at-bats against Grienke,

had two hits and drove in three runs. Langerhans, who was hitting

.190 this season and had never faced Grienke, hit the first he saw

from the Cy Young Award for a home run, then had two more hits and

scored twice. He finished a triple short of the cycle.

”Historically, how he has pitched against us, you just don’t

want to get deep in the count against him,” Mariners manager Don

Wakamatsu said. ”We had a plan right away to go jump on him as

much as we could.”

Of the 34 hitters Grienke faced, 15 swung at his first pitch,

five for hits. That included Langerhans’ third-inning home run to

deep center field.

”He made some mistakes with that first pitch,” Langerhans

said. ”We were aggressive and didn’t miss them. That was a big

key. Instead of fouling them off, we were putting them in

play.”

That was the first earned run allowed by Grienke against the

Mariners in 37 innings, since April 14, 2008. That streak included

a one-hit, 3-0 victory last Aug. 30, an impressive win on the way

to the Cy Young Award.

”He likes it away and down a little,” Grienke said of his 90

mph fastball to Langerhans. ”It was kind of down and middle away –

a first pitch that is good for most guys but that is right in his

power zone pretty much and he was ready for it.”

Grienke said he threw everything where he wanted, ”and they

still ended up scoring six runs (off him). Maybe that’s what it

was. I got the best of them a couple times and it was time for them

to do that to me.”

The Mariners scored their most runs since an 8-1 win over

Detroit on July 4 to support Luke French (1-2). He went eight

innings, allowing one run and nine hits. It was his fifth career

win, third against Kansas City. His first major league win was July

8 last season when he was with Detroit, over the Royals and Grienke

was the opposing pitcher.

Jack Wilson followed Langerhans’ home run with a triple into the

left-center gap. With one out and the infield drawn in for a

possible play at home, Figgins bounced a three-hopper past second

baseman Chris Getz to score Wilson.

”He’s going to give you pitches to hit. You just have to be

ready to hit them. And don’t miss him,” Figgins said. ”You get

behind on a guy like that, it could be a quick night.”

However, that at-bat by Figgins stood as a contrast to virtually

every other plate appearance by the Mariners. It was 11 pitches. He

fouled off five pitches with a 3-2 count.

Wakamatsu said ”that 11-pitch at-bat to drive in a run in the

third was critical.”

Grienke said that the ball skipped past Getz ”was just a lucky

thing.”

Wilson had a sacrifice fly and Ichiro Suzuki had a two-out RBI

single in the fourth.

In the sixth, Figgins had a two-out, two-run double into the

left-field corner. His three RBIs were a season high. Over his past

13 games, he is hitting .404.

Casey Kotchman finished it with a two-out RBI single in the

eighth.

The Royals scored their lone run in the third. Gregor Blanco and

Jason Kendall had consecutive two-out singles then Billy Butler

looped a ball over second base that just eluded shortstop Wilson.

Blanco scored but Kendall was caught in a rundown between second

and third.

”French set the tone early,” Wakamatsu said. ”After those

three hits in a row to score a run, from that point on I thought he

was really good. He threw strikes. He pitched to both sides of the

plate and retired 11 of the last 12 hitters he faced.

”He made some great pitches when he needed to.”

NOTES: Despite leading the Royals in home runs (16) and RBIs

(62), Jose Guillen was designated from assignment Thursday. The

move allows the club to play highly touted prospect Kila Ka’aihue

every day. Manager New Yost said the Royals ”tried to find a

(trading) partner, but time ran out. It got to the point we had to

make a decision.” The Royals also understood that Guillen has

never been happy in a reserve role. … Yost said RHP Brian

Bannister will work out of the bullpen, missing at least two

starts, to fix a mechanical flaw in his delivery. He has lost his

last five decisions. … Kansas City SS Yuniesky Betancourt will

likely miss the three-game series to be with his wife in Miami at

the delivery of their first child. … Mariners OF Michael Saunders

missed the game with neck soreness after crashing into the wall

Sunday. … LHP Erik Bedard had his third surgery on his left

shoulder Friday.