Mariners 7, Royals 5

(Seattle, WA) Before the first pitch was thrown in the opener of a three-game series between the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals, the Mariners were already winners on the day with the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays already losing and the Texas Rangers trailing big. That meant a win would put the Mariners in a tie for the AL West lead in the month of August for the first time since 2003. It wouldn’t be easy as the Mariners took on a team that gave them all they could handle and then some less than two weeks ago. Again, this one would be full of twists and turns but just like three of the four games in Kansas City, it would be the Mariners surviving the thriller to earn the win over the Royals 7-5.

Seattle couldn’t have gotten the lead any quicker than they did on Friday. After Bryce Miller threw an easy 1-2-3 top of the 1st, J.P. Crawford got the crowd fired up immediately. After being no-hit into the 7th inning by Brady Singer the last time they faced him, the M’s took that away immediately. Crawford sent the first pitch he saw into the seats in right field for his 11th home run of the season to give the Mariners the 1-0 lead. Not done yet, Julio Rodriguez reached on an infield single and after Eugenio Suarez struck out, J-Rod swiped second for his 35th stolen base of the season. Cal Raleigh was the benefactor of this one as he dumped one into left field for a base hit. Julio scored from second on the Raleigh single and Seattle had the early 2-0 lead.

While the 1st was clean, the top of the 2nd was anything but for Bryce Miller. A single for Salvador Perez and the 27th double of the season for MJ Melendez put runners on second and third with nobody out. Nelson Velázquez got Kansas City on the board with a base hit to right to make it 2-1 with runners on the corners and still nobody out. Miller got Matt Beaty to strikeout for the first out but then hurt himself with an error. A wild throw on a pickoff attempt to first base hit the umpire to keep Velázquez at first, but kicked far enough away for Melendez to score and tie the game at 2-2. Drew Waters’ sixth double put runners at second and third with one out for Kyle Isbel. It would be the beginning of a big day for Isbel as he singled to left field to give the Royals the lead. While Velázquez scored easily, Dominic Canzone came up throwing and threw a strike to Cal Raleigh who applied a nice tag on Waters for the out at the plate. That cut down one run, but the Royals had still taken the lead at 3-2.

Some hard hit outs then began to plague the Mariners as it felt like one of those days. Then, in the bottom of the 4th things began to go the Mariners way again. A leadoff single by Dominic Canzone was followed by two quick outs as the rookie remained on first base for J.P. Crawford. Crawford put together a nice AB and drew a walk to bring up Julio Rodriguez. Julio hit on absolute missile at 104.5-mph but second baseman Michael Massey was able to knock it down to save a run. Julio settled for the infield single to load the bases with two outs for the Mariners RBI leader in Eugenio Suarez. Geno came through in a big way this time around with a nice line drive into left field. Canzone scored easily from third as Crawford flew in behind him to score as well. J.P.’s emotion got the crowd fired up as Geno celebrated on first base as he had given the M’s back the lead at 4-3.

It was time to add on for the M’s in the bottom of the 5th. Teoscar Hernandez led off the inning with his 26th double of the season and after Ty France struck out, he advanced to third on a Dominic Canzone single. With runners still on the corners and two outs, KC would gift the Mariners a run with a wild pitch to score Teo and make it 5-3. With Canzone moving to second on the wild pitch, Josh Rojas had a two-out RBI opportunity and with his recent hot streak, he of course came through. A base hit back up the middle scored Canzone and Rojas had made it 6-3 Seattle.

This game wasn’t over by a long shot as the Royals fought back. Facing Matt Brash in the top of the 7th, a single by Matt Beaty had a runner on first with one out. Then Kyle Isbel came up with his biggest swing of the day. On the ninth pitch of the at bat, Isbel caught up to a 98-mph fastball and launched hit way into the stands in right field for his fifth home run of the season. The two-run blast made it 6-5 and things got very interesting. With two outs, Bobby Witt Jr. sent his eighth triple of the season to right center to put the tying run 90-feet away. Scott Servais went to his bullpen and brought in Tayler Saucedo to face pinch hitter Matt Duffy. Saucedo came up with a big final out as Duffy hit a grounder right back to him to end the inning with Seattle still out in front.

Some insurance came for the M’s in the bottom of the 8th. A single by J.P. Crawford had a runner on first with one out for Eugenio Suarez. Geno was extremely clutch in this one and added on to his two RBI day with a gapper here. Suarez smoked a liner to the warning track in left center for extra bases. Crawford got a great read on the ball and scored from first easily while Geno reached second with his 20th double of the year to make it 7-5 Mariners.

Things haven’t been perfect for Andrés Muñoz since taking over the closer duties after Paul Sewald was traded away. This would be another tense outing for the young right-hander. A seeing-eye single led off the top of the 9th for Matt Beaty. He’d move to second on a soft hit groundout by Drew Waters for the first out. A walk to Kyle Isbel put the tying run on and brought the go-ahead run to the plate and the top of the KC order in Maikel Garcia. A slow grounder to Eugenio Suarez looked like trouble, but once again Geno made a nice play defensively to get Garcia at first for the second out. With runners on second and third, Scott Servais decided to intentionally walk Bobby Witt Jr. to put the go-ahead run on base and take his chances with the pinch hitting Freddy Fermin. It turned out to be the right call as Muñoz got Fermin to chase a two-seam fastball running in for the final out to lock down a 7-5 win for the Mariners.

Seattle could not have drawn up a better day than what they got on Friday. With Texas, Houston, and Toronto all losing, the Mariners (72-56) are now tied atop the AL West with the Texas Rangers, one game ahead of the Houston Astros. Seattle also remains tied for the second AL Wild Card spot with Texas, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for a playoff spot. The three-game series with the Kansas City Royals (41-89) will resume on Saturday at 1:10pm. Logan Gilbert (11-5, 3.77 ERA) will take the ball for Seattle after getting the win his last time out in Houston. The Mariners have won eight of the last nine games started by Gilbert and they gave him plenty of run support in a 10-3 win in Houston. That lone loss in that stretch of Gilbert starts was in Kansas City when Gilbert only went 4 1/3 innings while giving up four runs on seven hits. He will do battle with Jordan Lyles (3-14, 6.20 ERA) who also got a start against Seattle just about a week and a half ago. Facing the Mariners, Lyles went five innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits, including four home runs.

Notable Performances


  • Kyle Isbel- 2-3, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB
  • Nelson Velázquez- 1-4, RBI, R
  • Brady Singer (L, 8-10)- 4 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO


  • Eugenio Suarez- 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI
  • J.P. Crawford- 3-4, HR, RBI, 3 R, BB
  • Bryce Miller (ND)- 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO



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