Royals 7, Mariners 3
Alberto Callaspo turned failure into success in the span of one
pitch Wednesday night.
Callaspo couldn’t come through in putting down a crucial
sacrific bunt in the eighth inning. After going 3-2 and having the
bunt sign taken off, he simply crushed a three-run home run,
lifting the Kansas City Royals to a comeback 7-3 victory over the
Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.
Trailing by a run, Callaspo came up with runners on first and
second and no outs. Reliever Brandon League (5-6) had walked the
first two batters and went 2-0 to Callaspo.
“I’m not really wanting to bunt off League. He throws so hard.
He’s tough to bunt off of,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “But
you have to try to get the winning run to second base somehow.
“When it went ball one, ball two, the bunt was out of my mind
but I was having Calla square so maybe (League) would throw
But League threw a strike that Callaspo missed with a bunt
thrust. It then went 3-1 before League came inside with a
“It was inside and it was sinking,” Callaspo said. “It was
tough to bunt.”
He managed to weakly foul it off, making it 3-2. Yost wasn’t
going to gamble with two strikes. He took off the bunt sign.
“I was just trying to make good contact,” Callaspo said. “I
was trying to move the runners. Finally, I get the home run. Pretty
He couldn’t hit the ball 10 feet but in five chances then
connected for 368 feet on his final attempt.
“He made a mistake to Bert and it turned the tide for us,”
said Mitch Maier, who hit a home run later in the four-run
League said he threw his best pitch.
“A fastball. I’m not going to try and load the bases throwing
something else,” League said. “I didn’t find the strike zone at
all – walked two guys. And when I did find the strike zone, he hits
it out of the park.”
Billy Butler hit his ninth home run in the ninth, one that had
to be confirmed by the umpires through video replay.
Victor Marte (3-0), who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the
seventh, earned the victory.
Joakim Soria entered the ninth with two on and no outs and
retired the final three batters. He picked up his 25th save in 27
Soria saved all three games. It was the first time since June
12-14, 1995, that the Royals swept the Mariners in Seattle.
Casey Kotchman supplied all the Seattle runs with two home runs.
In one game, Kotchman produced one-third of his season home run
total. He has six.
It also was Kotchman’s second career multiple home run game. His
first was May 14, 2007, against Texas when he was with the Los
The Royals’ three-homer game was their first since May 6.
“Give up three home runs and six runs from the seventh inning
on is not going to get it done,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu
Kansas City quickly created a run in the first inning. Jason
Kendall drew a one-out walk and moved to third on David DeJesus’s
single to right. He scored on Butler’s sac-fly to right.
Kotchman tied it with a two-out solo shot to right-center on
Kyle Davies’ first pitch to him in the second.
The Mariners loaded the bases in the third with one out,
ushering pitching coach Bob McClure to the mound for a chat. That
elicited an instant positive result. Davies’ next pitch to Jose
Lopez was a gift one-hopper to mound and he turned it into a 1-2-3
Mariners starter Doug Fister struggled to find the plate early,
walking two and throwing 47 pitches by the second inning. He was up
to 91 pitches after five innings.
Fister went six innings, allowing one run and six hits, exiting
with a 3-1 lead.
In the sixth, Butler opened with a blast against the left-field
scoreboard, missing a home run by foot. But Michael Saunders
swiftly gathered the carom and threw to second. Inexplicably,
Butler rounded first too wide and was easily thrown out returning
to the bag.
The Mariners started something in the ninth off Kyle Farnsworth.
The first two batters reached. Yost was forced to bring in Soria,
who has pitched in six of the Royals’ past seven games – with six
“When we scored four runs ahead (non-save situation) I was
thinking no way,” Soria said, “but I have to stick with my team
when they need me.”
Soria got Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins on popups then struck
out Russell Branyan for his 18th consecutive save. He leads the
majors in saves.
NOTES: Royals OF/DH Jose Guillen is day-to-day after sustaining
a grade one strain in his left quad Tuesday. “We were hoping that
it wouldn’t be worse and it’s not,” Yost said. “He’s not playing
today, we’re off tomorrow. We’ll see where he is on Friday.” It
looked serious, as Guillen barely made it up the line to first
base. He said the muscle kept cramping. But Guillen said he’s ready
to play. “Just wrap it up like old school and just go play,” he
said. OF Milton Bradley has not started the past four games because
of a bruise to the fat pad on his right knee. “He’s hitting, he
just can’t do a lot of running right now,” Wakamatsu said. “He’s
getting treatment and staying off it a little bit.”