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Bullpen implodes in the eighth in 13-7 loss to Mariners

Mike Matheny fell asleep at the switch.

Kansas City Royals v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Mariners broke a 7-7 tie by exploding for six runs in the eighth inning as the Royals fell 13-7 on Saturday. The Kansas City bullpen ended their 27 23 innings scoreless streak and Collin Snider, Josh Staumont, Jake Brentz, and Dylan Coleman combined to give up eight runs in just 2 23 innings of work.

The Royals got on the board in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Andrew Benintendi. But Kris Bubic continued the trend of Royals starting pitchers having first inning issues by giving up a two-run home run to J.P. Crawford to make it 2-1 Seattle. Bubic continued to struggle in the second giving up two more runs, yet Mike Matheny had him begin the third inning as well. After back-to-back doubles to open the inning and make it 5-1 Mariners, Matheny mercifully pulled Bubic in favor of Joel Payamps.

But after some wasted opportunities early on against rookie starter Matt Brash, the Royals battled back in the fifth. With the bases loaded, Hunter Dozier hit a grounder that shortstop J.P. Crawford made a diving stop on. But he threw awkwardly and errantly to third, allowing two runs to score on the throwing error. Bobby Witt Jr. followed up with an RBI single to make it 5-4 Seattle.

In the sixth, Amir Garrett was dealing, but was pulled when Matheny wanted to play matchups and bring in right-hander Collin Snider against right-handed hitter Ty France. But the move backfired when France singled and came home on an RBI double by Eugenio Suárez.

The Mariners brought in wild-armed reliever Yohan Ramirez in the seventh, and he gave Royals fans a scare when he plunked Salvador Perez in the hand. Salvy would eventually leave the game.

Carlos Santana exacted revenge for the plunking immediately by smashing a ball into the right field seats for his first home run of the year. Doubles by Hunter Dozier and pinch-hitter Edward Olivares would put the Royals on top 7-6.

The Mariners would tie it up in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Ty France off Josh Staumont. Jake Brentz would come on to pitch the eighth and immediately struggled to locate his pitches, issuing four consecutive walks, forcing in a run to give the Mariners the lead. Despite Brentz’s obvious command issues, Matheny didn’t even have anyone warming up in the pen until it was too late.

Brentz would eventually find the zone, but Jesse Winker jumped on a pitch for a two-run double to extend the lead. Dylan Coleman was brought in to try to end the threat, but he gave up a three-run home run to Ty France that put the game away.

It is the third time the Royals have given up double-digit runs this year. On the plus side, their seven runs scored tied a season high! And Scott Barlow should be fresh for tomorrow’s game!

The Royals fall to 5-8 and are still winless on the road this year. They will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday afternoon at 3:10 CT with Carlos Hernandez scheduled to go against Robbie Ray.