Royals stave off M's, push win streak to 6
Brian Bannister worked six scoreless innings to outpitch Jarrod Washburn and the Kansas City Royals extended their winning streak to six games with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.
The Royals turned four double plays in front of 32,714 screeching fans and overcame some shaky moments from closer Joakim Soria to earn their eighth win in nine games overall. They have won six straight against Seattle for the first time since 1989.
The Mariners have lost four straight and eight of 11 overall thanks to a failing offense. Ichiro Suzuki had three hits and Ken Griffey Jr. had a pair, but the rest of the Mariners weren't so good, combining for four hits and 11 strikeouts.
Seattle, the AL's third-worst scoring team, has just eight runs in its last four games. It has scored one run or less in eight games this season.
A day after pounding out 17 hits in a 9-1 win over the Mariners, the Royals managed just seven hits and had to scrap for all of their runs.
That's all they needed the way Bannister (3-0) was pitching.
The right-hander labored through a 27-pitch first inning, stranding runners at the corners by striking out Russell Branyan and getting Adrian Beltre to line out to second. He settled in after that, finishing with seven strikeouts, getting out of jams with double-play balls in the second, fourth and sixth innings.
Bannister allowed five hits and walked one in his fourth start since being called up from Triple-A Omaha on April 21. Soria made it interesting, giving up two hits, including Mike Sweeney's run-scoring single, and two walks before getting Suzuki to ground out with the bases loaded for his seventh save in seven opportunities.
Washburn (3-2) was nearly as good as Bannister.
The left-hander, coming off a solid outing against Oakland on Saturday, pitched effectively through seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits.
The Royals got an unearned run off him in the third inning when shortstop Ronny Cedeno bobbled David DeJesus' routine grounder for an error. Kansas City added another in the fifth on Willie Bloomquist's single - extending his hitting streak to 10 games - a sacrifice bunt and Mike Aviles' run-scoring single up the middle.
Billy Butler made it 3-0 in the eighth with a run-scoring single off Sean White.
Royals 2B Alberto Callaspo, seventh in the AL with a .359 average, was given the day off. ... Mariners play-by-play man Dave Niehaus, who started with Seattle's first season in 1977, worked his 5,000 game. ... Suzuki made a nice sliding catch on Mike Jacobs' sinking flyball to right in the fourth inning.