Royals 7, Mariners 6

(Kansas City, MO) The last time the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals played each other before Monday’s opening game of a four-game series was September 25th, 2022 when the M’s were again in Kansas City. In that game, Seattle had an 11-2 lead going into the bottom of the 6th with ace Luis Castillo on the mound. They would proceed to give up 11 runs in that inning and go on to lose that game 13-12. Fast forward to Monday night and the game was almost as crazy and bizarre as that Sunday last September. Seattle would be no-hit into the 7th before coming back to take the lead in the 9th all for nothing as Kansas City would land the biggest gut punch any team has landed on the M’s this season as the Royals celebrated a walkoff win, 7-6.

While Brady Singer would put together an incredible outing, Logan Gilbert labored through his outing. Gilbert did not have his best command and was missing consistently with all of his pitches. Things just felt off for Logan from the very get go and Kansas City would jump on him in the bottom of the 1st. Back-to-back singles by the first two Royals to step to the plate, Maikel Garcia and Bobby Witt Jr., put a couple of runners on immediately. Michael Massey then showed that the Royals still play small ball when he got down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up to second and third with one out. Notorious Mariner killer Salvador Perez then did what he does best, hit bombs against Seattle. Perez chased a splitter that was just below the zone but not as down as Gilbert wanted. The result was a golf shot for the 19th home run of the season for the Kansas City catcher to put the Royals out in front early at 3-0.

Gilbert then pitched in and out of danger for the next three innings without allowing another run to score while Seattle only managed one walk in that same stretch of time. Seattle would then just get a tough break in the bottom of the 5th. Bobby Witt Jr. kept his strong day going with a line drive into right field. It looked like Dominic Canzone had a play on the ball, but the new Mariner lost it in the lights and it ended up flying past him all the way to the wall. Julio Rodriguez then bobbled the ball trying to get it back in as Witt Jr. flew around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. The rare baseball event just gave the Royals even more momentum with a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 6th, it looked like the M’s would have a quick and easy inning when Tayler Saucedo got MJ Melendez and Nelson Velazquez to ground out to begin the inning. The lefty then completely lost his feel on the mound and walked Matt Duffy before giving up back-to-back singles to Matt Duffy and Kyle Isbel to load the bases. Scott Servais would make a switch and brought in Isaiah Campbell to try to get out of the inning. Unfortunately, Campbell got off to a tough start and that included walking Maikel Garcia and giving up a free run to make it 5-0 KC. Campbell would get Bobby Witt Jr. to fly out to end the inning but the deficit continued to grow while the Mariners continued to search for their first hit.

That first hit finally came in the top of the 7th on a two out single by Dominic Canzone. While the M’s couldn’t push across a run in that inning, the hit at least took the pressure off of the lineup and they could focus on putting together strong at bats. They would not be easy ABs against Brady Singer who showed why he could be the centerpiece of the Royals future rotation. Using primarily a sinker and slider combination, Singer just attacked the zone and stayed ahead in the count constantly. The Mariner bats knew what was coming, but could not avoid chasing the slider and could not square up the sinker either. While Singer didn’t get the no-hitter, he had electric stuff and stymied the Mariner bats for most of this game.

Seattle’s big breakthrough would come in the top of the 8th. A one out double for Mike Ford gave the Mariners their first runner in scoring position of the day. The bottom of the order then came through for the M’s as Dylan Moore reached on a hit by pitch and Josh Rojas singled on the first pitch thrown by reliever Carlos Hernandez. That loaded the bases for Julio Rodriguez and J-Rod was clutch in this game. Julio smoked his 27th double of the season down into the left field corner. With Ford on third and plus speed on first and second, the bases were cleared as all three runs came into score to get the Mariners on the board still trailing 5-3. After stealing third for his 28th stolen base of the season, Julio Rodriguez got to trot home on an Eugenio Suarez RBI single to cut the deficit to just one going into the 9th at 5-4.

Austin Cox was looking for his second career save for the Royals but it was not going to come easy. Jose Caballero pinch ran for Ty France who drew a walk to begin the inning. Teoscar Hernandez pinch hit for Cade Marlowe, but hit into a fielder’s choice to erase Caballero for the first out while Teo reached first. Sam Haggerty entered the game to pinch hit for Mike Ford and worked a terrific at bat resulting in a walk to move the tying run in Hernandez to second with one out. With a new pitcher entering the game in Nick Wittgren, it looked like Dylan Moore had delivered a big blow with a line drive to left field. The ballpark would hold it as Dairon Blanco made the catch for the second out. Things looked bleak as Josh Rojas fell behind 0-2, but after fouling off a pitch, he had his biggest moment as a Mariner. Rojas lined a fastball into right center for a base hit. Teo scored easily going on contact to tie the game at 5-5 in the 9th. Julio Rodriguez then came up with his second big hit of the night with a single to left to score Sam Haggerty and give Seattle their first lead of the game at 6-5 going into the bottom of the 9th.

With Andrés Muñoz getting the day off, Scott Servais turned to Matt Brash to get the final three outs against the meat of the Kansas City order. Bobby Witt Jr. fought back from an 0-2 hole to single to center to begin the inning. He would then go from first to third on another two strike hit, this one by Michael Massey to put the tying run 90-feet away. Samad Taylor entered as a pinch runner for Massey and stole second to put the winning run in scoring position with nobody out and Salvador Perez at the plate. Perez could not duplicate his home run from earlier, but did hit a fly ball plenty deep enough to center to score Witt Jr. and tie the game at 6-6. Taylor also moved up to third as the winning run as Dairon Blanco stepped to the plate for the first time in the game. This is where small ball would win the day for Kansas City. Blanco laid down a safety squeeze bunt and as soon as the ball was on the ground, Taylor broke from third to the plate. The ball was bobbled by Dylan Moore at first and that would be enough to allow Taylor to score. The Royals celebrated as the Mariners realized their comeback was for naught as they dropped game one to Kansas City in heartbreaking fashion, 7-6.

Seattle (63-55) will have to shake this one off very quickly if they want to snap their three-game losing streak in game two of the four-game set in Kansas City on Tuesday at 5:10pm. Emerson Hancock (0-0, 1.80 ERA) will look to secure his first MLB win in his second career start when he takes the mound in game two. Hancock was solid in his debut on Wednesday against the San Diego Padres when he went five innings and allowed just one run on two hits while walking three and striking out three. Hancock will look to shore up his command a bit in his second go around. For the Kansas City Royals (39-81) they will look to continue to play spoiler to the M’s when Jordan Lyles (3-13, 6.13 ERA) gets the start in game two. Lyles is having a nightmare of a season as the veteran only has two quality starts in his 22 starts this season.

Notable Performances


  • Julio Rodriguez- 2-5, 2B, 4 RBI, R, SB
  • Josh Rojas- 2-4, RBI, R
  • Logan Gilbert (ND)- 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO


  • Brady Singer (ND)- 7.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
  • Bobby Witt Jr.- 4-5, HR, RBI, 3 R
  • Salvador Perez- 2-4, HR, 4 RBI, R



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