(Kansas City, MO) Kauffman Stadium has been a house of horrors for the Seattle Mariners over the last few seasons so when the team landed there to begin a three-game series on Friday, everyone was prepared for a long, stressful weekend of baseball. Despite taking the series in Oakland, the Mariners left a lot to be desired and taking on another playoff contender would test the M’s in a way that they won’t really be tested in too much in the month of June. While the pitching has continued to be elite, the offensive struggles continue to plague the M’s and frustrate the fan base. Against a very pesky lineup that always puts together great at-bats, the script was flipped over the weekend for the Mariners.

Royals 10, Mariners 9 (Game 1, June 7th)

Game one could not have gotten off to a better start for the Mariners. Right away Seattle’s offense exploded against Daniel Lynch IV and gave Bryce Miller a big lead. Seattle loaded the bases and a walk from Mitch Garver scored the first run of the game in the top of the 1st. Mitch Haniger then cleared the bases with his eighth double of the season to make it 4-0. Victor Robles picked up his first hit and RBI as a Mariner with an RBI double to center to make it 5-0. Ryan Bliss ended the big 1st inning with his first MLB home run, sending a two-run shot out to left. For the first time this season, Seattle had taken a commanding 1st inning lead as they were up 7-0 before Bryce Miller ever took the mound.

Ty France’s RBI double in the top of the 4th made it 8-0 Seattle and that’s when things changed. Kansas City cut their deficit in half in the bottom of the 4th. An RBI single by Nelson Velasquez gave the Royals their first run of the game, but the big blast came next. In what turned out to be a big series for MJ Melendez, he made an impact with his eighth home run of the season with a three-run shot to right. That blast not only got the team back in it, but it brought the crowd back to life as the Seattle lead was cut to 8-4.

Seattle got one back with an RBI double by Mitch Garver in the top of the 6th to make it 9-4 but Kansas City got that run back in the bottom of the 6th with an RBI groundout by MJ Melendez. Hunter Renfroe would then help the Royals cut the deficit even more with a two-run single to make it 9-7 with still three innings to go.

The score stayed the same until the bottom of the 9th when Ryne Stanek took over on the mound. After a walk and an error, runners were on second and third with nobody out. Maikel Garcia would get a run in with an RBI groundout to J.P. Crawford to cut it to a 9-8 game with the tying runner on second and one out. Scott Servais decided to let Stanek face Bobby Witt Jr. and it wasn’t the right decision in the end. Witt sent a ball down the left field line and into the corner. Garrett Hampson scored as Witt’s speed helped him reach third with his seventh triple of the season and Kansas City had tied the game at 9-9 with the winning run at third. Intentional walks to Vinnie Pasquantino and Salvador Perez loaded the bases with one out to put the double play in order and the opportunity for a force at home. Nelson Velasquez smoked a grounder at Crawford at short and while he knocked it down, Seattle couldn’t turn two and Witt scored to walk it off for Kansas City. The Royals celebrated their eight-run comeback as they broke the Mariners hearts 10-9.

NOTE: Ty France set a new franchise record for most hit by pitches in Mariner history. France has now been hit 90 times in 534 games with the Mariners. Edgar Martinez previously held the record by getting hit 89 times…in 2,055 games. This one would hurt worse for France as he suffered a hairline fracture in his heel that put the first baseman on the IL.

Notable Performances


  • Mitch Haniger- 1-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R, BB
  • Ryan Bliss- 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Bryce Miller (ND)- 5 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO


  • Bobby Witt Jr.- 3-5, 3B, RBI, 2 R
  • MJ Melendez- 1-4, HR, 4 RBI, R, BB
  • Daniel Lynch IV (ND)- 4 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO

Royals 8, Mariners 4 (Game 2, June 8th)

While game two wasn’t quite as heartbreaking as the opener, it still wasn’t fun for Mariner fans. With Luis Castillo on the mound against Alec Marsh, optimism was high but La Piedra had one of his worst outings of the season. However, things once again started off well for the Mariners on the very first pitch of the game. J.P. Crawford sent a fastball right down the middle out to right field for a solo home run and his fifth home run of the season. The vibes were back as Seattle had a 1-0 lead.

The lead did not last very long as Kansas City got off to a good start in the bottom of the first. Maikel Garcia led off the inning with a single and then stole his 15th base of the season. After a couple of pop ups, Garcia stayed there with Salvador Perez coming to the plate. The future Hall of Fame catcher smoked a liner out to left field for a base hit. Garcia scored easily from second and the game was tied at 1-1. One inning later, one the ninth pitch of the at bat, Adam Frazier sent his second home run of the season out to right and the lead then belonged to Kansas City at 2-1.

Photo by @Mariners on X

In the top of the 5th, Seattle’s lineup woke up and helped out their ace. With the bases empty and one out, Mitch Garver hit what looked like a high foul ball, but the wind was able to push it fair for a solo home run and Garver’s seventh home run of the season. The solo blast tied the game at 2-2 but the M’s weren’t done. Back-to-back two-out singles by Dominic Canzone and Ryan Bliss put runners on first and second with two down. J.P. Crawford came through again with a base hit to center to score Canzone. The two-out rally gave the M’s back the lead at 3-2.

Once again, it was short lived. In the bottom half of the inning, Adam Frazier led off with a double and was quickly driven in on an RBI single by Nick Loftin to tie the game 3-3. The kings of small ball struck again as Kyle Isbel bunted Loftin to second and the Royals were threatening to retake the lead. After Maikel Garcia walked and Bobby Witt Jr. flew out, Vinnie Pasquantino put the Royals ahead for good. A two-run double to right seemed to take the wind out of the sails for the Mariners as the Royals had a 5-3 lead.

After a sacrifice fly in the 6th brought the Mariners to within a run, the Royals ran away with this one. A two-run double by Kyle Isbel made it 7-4 in the 6th and the Royals got one more insurance run in the 8th on a sacrifice fly by Isbel. A 1-2-3 top of the 9th by James McArthur earned the Royals the 8-4 win and the series victory while putting the Mariners in danger of being swept for the first time this season.

Notable Performances


  • J.P. Crawford- 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Mitch Garver- 1-3, HR, RBI, R, BB
  • Luis Castillo (L, 5-7)- 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO


  • Adam Frazier- 2-2, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R
  • Kyle Isbel- 1-2, 2B, 3 RBI
  • Alec Marsh (W, 5-3)- 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO

Mariners 6, Royals 5 (10) (Game 3, June 9th)

In the series finale, George Kirby was looking to get back on track against one of the best young starters in all of baseball in Cole Ragans. Once again, it would not be a warm welcome for the Kansas City starter and once again it was courtesy of J.P. Crawford. For the second consecutive game, J.P. led the game off with a solo home run to right center. This time it was his sixth home run of the season and once again the M’s had an immediate 1-0 lead.

Both Kirby and Ragans were rolling through the game after that lone hiccup for the Royals starter. In the bottom of the 5th, the Royals would bail Ragans out. Back-to-back singles with one out by Freddy Fermin and Hunter Renfroe put runners on the corners with Kyle Isbel coming to the plate. A safety squeeze was executed to perfection as Isbel got the bunt down and the only play was at first, allowing Fermin to score and tying the game at 1-1.

In the top of the 7th, a new face put the M’s back out in front. With Mitch Haniger on first and one out, Tyler Locklear came to the plate in his first career game after being called up to replace the injured Ty France. Locklear would come through in a big way with his first MLB hit. A gap shot out to right center got down and allowed Locklear to reach second with a double for hit number one. The hit also drove in Haniger and gave Seattle a 2-1 lead. The lead grew on the next batter as Josh Rojas drove in Locklear with an RBI single, making it 3-1.

Seattle had to use closer Andrés Muñoz in the 8th against 9-1-2 in the Kansas City order which allowed Mike Baumann to look for his first career save in the bottom of the 9th. After striking out Vinnie Pasquantino and Salvador Perez, Nick Loftin doubled to put some pressure on Baumann with MJ Melendez coming to the plate. On the first pitch, life was sucked out of every Mariner fan as Melendez crushed his seventh home run of the season. Just like that the lead evaporated and the game was tied 3-3 and moved on to extra innings.

Josh Rojas was the automatic runner at second for the Mariners and moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Bliss. After J.P. Crawford struck out for the second out and Josh Rojas narrowly avoided being picked off at third, Dylan Moore drew a walk to bring Julio Rodriguez to the plate. Coming into this game, Julio had recorded a hit in all 15 career games against the Royals. That streak continued. J-Rod sent a grounder into right field for an RBI single and gave the M’s a 4-3 lead. A walk to Mitch Garver allowed Cal Raleigh to drive in two more with a single and the Seattle lead was 6-3 going into the bottom of the 10th.

Austin Voth took over on the mound but things turned bad rather quickly. A 3-1 sweeper hung up in the zone and Hunter Renfroe unloaded a two-run shot for his sixth homer on the year. That made the score 6-5 with nobody out. A single by Kyle Isbel followed but pinch runner Dairon Blanco was erased when Maikel Garcia hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. That brought the dangerous Bobby Witt Jr. to the plate, but Voth would get the superstar wot fly out to right field for a huge second out. Tayler Saucedo then entered the game to face Vinnie Pasquantino. Finally, the job was finished. A routine grounder to Ryan Bliss ended the series on a high note for the Mariners as they managed to hang on to the extra innings win 6-5.

Notable Performances


  • J.P. Crawford- 2-5, HR, RBI, R
  • Cal Raleigh- 2-5, 2 RBI
  • George Kirby (ND)- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO


  • MJ Melendez- 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Hunter Renfroe- 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Cole Ragans (ND)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO

What’s Next

After a brutal series, the Seattle Mariners (37-30) will now return home for a seven-game homestand. Coming into the homestand, the Mariners hold a 5-game lead in the division over the Texas Rangers and a 6 1/2 game lead over Houston. Seattle remains the only team in the AL West with a record above .500 and out of the AL and NL West, only the Mariners and Dodgers have winning record.

Opportunity awaits the M’s as they open up the homestand with a four-game series against the team with the worst record in MLB. The Chicago White Sox (17-49) snapped a franchise record 14-game losing streak on Friday and have only won four series this season. Somehow, they have been even worse on the road where the White Sox are an abysmal 5-26 away from Guaranteed Rate Field. This will be the first series against a team from the AL or NL West for Chicago who are one of two teams that will be surefire sellers at this year’s trade deadline.

There are a couple of players that Mariner fans should keep their eyes on for Chicago. First, Luis Robert Jr. is a potential trade target for Seattle. The young outfielder is under contract through the end of the 2027 season and has showed tremendous upside despite having some injury issues. Robert Jr. has played center field most of his career but would have to switch to one of the corner outfield spots with Julio in center although they are both towards the top in center field defensive metrics. It would take a big return to Chicago however if the Mariners hope to get him.

Another player to look out for will start the finale of the series in Garrett Crochet. The southpaw has been the best player for the Sox to this point in the season even with a rough stretch in April. Things have been taken to another level for Crochet since the beginning of May. Over the span of eight starts and 41 innings, Crochet has allowed just six runs. That adds up to an ERA of 1.32 since the beginning of May which is better than every Mariner pitcher over that span besides Bryan Woo’s 1.07. The matchup between Crochet and Luis Castillo on Thursday will be one of the better pitching matchups to take place this season.

  • Game 1, Monday 6:40pm- Erick Fedde (4-1, 3.27 ERA) vs. Logan Gilbert (3-4, 3.12 ERA)
  • Game 2, Tuesday 6:40pm- Drew Thorpe (MLB Debut) vs. Bryan Woo (3-0, 1.07 ERA)
  • Game 3, Wednesday 6:40pm- Jonathan Cannon (0-1, 5.94 ERA) vs. Bryce Miller (5-5, 3.81 ERA)
  • Game 4, Thursday 6:40pm- Garrett Crochet (6-5, 3.33 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (5-7, 3.35 ERA)


WordPress Image Lightbox