The night did not start well for the Royals and specifically Ervin Santana. Despite jumping ahead of the first five hitters he faced, Santana was in and out of trouble early and often. A run was saved by a David Lough to Eric Hosmer to Salvador Perez putout at home in the first and Jarrod Dyson made an outstanding catch in the second.
Santana's luck ran out in the third as he was tagged for three hits, a walk and two runs. It could have been worse, he was helped by another good defensive play when Salvador Perez gunned down Franklin Gutierrez at second. More luck, and Ned Yost's patience, ran out in the fourth as Santana gave up two hits, two walks and another runs while recording just one out. It was Santana's shortest outing of the year and only the third time in 28 starts that he did not make it through six innings.
Wade Davis relieved Santana and uncorked a wild pitch to allow a fourth run to score, but then got the final two outs. It seemed insignificant at the time, given that the game felt like 'one of those nights'.
The Royals - those crazy freaking Royals - immediately responded by plating four runs in the fourth inning. A Bonifacio walk was followed by singles by Hosmer and Butler to plate one run. One out later Perez scored Hosmer on a sacrifice fly and Lough doubled, but did not score Butler - that no good baseclogger. (That's sarcasm, y'all). Base clogging be damned, Jarrod Dyson singled in both Butler and Lough to tie the game. That was the entire extent of the Kansas City offense - all of it and that is not an exaggeration.
And then things pretty much stopped. Counting Davis, Ned Yost used six relievers to get through the next four innings. Between them, they allowed just three hits and no walks.
Meanwhile, after walking the first batter he faced, Carter Capps pitched a scoreless sixth and Lucas Luetge a scoreless seventh and eighth. After all, who could hit anyone whose first and last names start with the same letter?
While the Royals have a marvelous, and now very deep, bullpen, they are not armed with a double initial guy (nary a Hudson Hawk to be found) and instead turned to Aaron Crow. After a one out walk, Crow found himself just a one strike away from sending his team to the bottom of the ninth still tied. On a 1-2 count, however, Kendry Morales (who I think will swing at anything, but Aaron decided fastball down the middle was a good idea ahead in the count) unloaded on a Crow fastball and gave the Mariners a two run lead. Ding Dong, boys and girls.
Now, I was not surprised to see Crow in the ninth, but many of you pointed out potential impending doom in the Game Thread and were proven unfortunately right. You have to wonder (again as pointed out in the Game Thread) why Yost went to Kelvin Herrera for one out in the fifth. One also has to wonder about - and I didn't think I would ever write this - why Yost elected to not stay with Luke Hochevar, who struck out both batters he faced in the eighth.
The bottom of the ninth? The Royals made Danny Farquhar throw all of nine pitches as they went a meek one-two-three to end the game.
Ding Freaking Dong.