Mariners 9, Royals 4
Casper Wells walked back to the dugout after belting a three-run
homer in the first inning and a two-run triple in the second, and
was already hearing it from his Seattle teammates.
The toughest two legs of the cycle were in the books.
Piece of cake from here, right?
”It was like, geez, thanks guys,” said Wells, whose five RBIs
in the first two innings of the Mariners’ 9-4 victory over the
Kansas City Royals on Monday night were a career high.
”Do you tell a pitcher when they’re throwing perfect game,
`Hey, you’re throwing a perfect game?”’ Wells said with a smile.
”It’s like, `Hey, thanks.”’
Wells couldn’t manage a hit in his next three at-bats, though
the Mariners hardly needed any more offense. They had already
battered Royals starter Jonathan Sanchez for seven runs in 1 1-3
innings and were on their way to their best output since June
Justin Smoak also had a two-run homer off Sanchez (1-6), Ichiro
Suzuki added an RBI triple and Dustin Ackley homered to pace one of
the worst offenses in the American League.
”I loved the way they turned around some fastballs,” Seattle
manager Eric Wedge said. ”If you want to be a good big league
hitter, you have to turn around some fastballs.”
Or whatever else Sanchez was throwing.
Jason Vargas (9-7) took advantage of Seattle’s instant offense,
giving up homers to Salvador Perez and Billy Butler but still
lasting six shaky innings to win his second straight game.
Vargas went the distance in beating Oakland just before the
”When your offense comes out like that,” he said, ”you
shouldn’t blow the lead.”
Acquired this past offseason for outfielder Melky Cabrera, the
MVP of the All-Star game at Kauffman Stadium just last week,
Sanchez has been nothing short of abysmal all year.
He hasn’t gone past the sixth inning since May 28, 2011, and
hasn’t allowed fewer than four runs since early June. His
already-bloated ERA rose to 7.76, and he’s drawn the ire of Kansas
City fans for his almost nonchalant attitude during and after his
”When you work four days in a row to make a start and it
doesn’t work, it’s kind of frustrating,” Sanchez said. ”What can
I say? I’ve got to look forward and see what happens.”
Sanchez didn’t even give fans a chance to get comfy Monday
He walked Ackley on five pitches to start the game, and then
watched Suzuki dump a single into left field before Wells belted a
three-run homer to left. Jesus Montero added a single and Smoak hit
his two-run shot, giving the Mariners a 5-0 lead after just five
Sanchez retired the next batter to get through the inning, but
gave up another base hit to Brendan Ryan leading off the second.
Ackley added a single and Wells a two-run triple, giving Seattle a
7-0 lead and sending Sanchez on the slow trudge back to the
He still hasn’t won since his Royals debut on April 8.
”They jumped on a couple of high fastballs for home runs in the
first,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”It’s one of those games
where they were on him, put seven runs up early and there’s not
much we could do.”
All that offense came from a Seattle lineup that came into the
night second-to-last in the AL in homers, runs and team batting
average (.229), and last in OBP and RBIs.
Perez homered to help Kansas City crack the scoreboard in the
third inning, and Butler’s two-run shot with two outs gave the
Royals’ sullen fanbase reason to hope – at least for the precious
few minutes before Seattle came to the plate in the fourth
Suzuki’s RBI triple put a crimp in their comeback hopes, and
Ackley’s homer in the sixth may have dashed them entirely. The
Mariners coasted from there to a series-opening victory.
”We can’t control the end result,” Wedge said. ”We just want
to go out there, put together good at-bats, turn around some
fastballs, and if we do that, the runs will come.”
NOTES: Ryan left after his second-inning at-bat, when he fouled
a pitch off his left knee. He is day to day with a bruise. … SS
Alcides Escobar grounded into double plays his first two at-bats,
making him responsible for four of the Royals’ first eight outs.
… Kansas City 2B Yuniesky Betancourt had his 200th career double
in the second inning. … RHP Blake Beavan is expected to return
from Triple-A Tacoma to start Tuesday for Seattle. The Royals had
not decided on a starter.