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

balls.”

But League threw a strike that Callaspo missed with a bunt

thrust. It then went 3-1 before League came inside with a

fastball.

“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

good.”

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

eighth.

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

opportunities.

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

Angeles Angels.

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

said.

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

double play.

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

saves.

“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.”