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Royals win wild walkoff against the Mariners, 7-6

This game had everything

Bobby Witt Jr. #7 of the Kansas City Royals runs the bases as he heads home for an inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium on August 14, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Bobby Witt Jr. #7 of the Kansas City Royals runs the bases as he heads home for an inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium on August 14, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Alright, so, uh, the Kansas City Royals won against the Seattle Mariners 7-6.

That does not remotely tell the story.

This game had everything. Brady Singer dominated. Bobby Witt Jr. had four hits, including an inside-the-park home run. The Royals had 14 hits overall. Salvador Perez had a three-run home run as one of them. The bullpen imploded. And the Royals roared back, walking it off on the un-defendable Dairon Blanco-Samad Taylor bunt play.

But we gotta start somewhere. The Royals struck first and struck hard. Maikel Garcia and Witt led off with back-to-back singles, and Michael Massey bunted them over. But it didn’t matter where they were because Salvador Perez, The Captain, golfed a low pitch to straightaway center field for a home run. It was a glorious shot.

The Royals kept wearing on Mariners starter Logan Gilbert. In the second inning, Garcia and Witt again had back-to-back singles. And in the fourth inning, Drew Waters worked an impressive 11-pitch walk. The Royals finally kicked Gilbert out of the game following a Witt inside-the-park home run—though as you can see with this video, there’s a nonzero chance it gets turned into an error because Dominic Canzone lost it in the lights and did get a glove on it.

But the bigger story than Witt’s or Perez’s fast and giant dongs, respectively, was Brady Singer’s total dominance. Singer carried a perfect game into the fifth inning until Singer uncorked four consecutive balls to Cade Marlowe. He then carried a no-hitter until the last out of the seventh inning when Canzone cleanly singled to right field.

Singer was totally, absolutely dominant. His slider was unhittable for most of the evening. His fastball was zipping into the strike zone. He even threw a couple changeups and got a swinging strikeout on one. Singer ended with seven innings with eight strikeouts, two baserunners given up, and zero runs...

...or that’s what he would have done if Matt Quatraro hadn’t sent him out to the eighth inning for some reason. This is the second time this season Quatraro has sent Singer out in the eighth or ninth inning after Singer had thrown a whole bunch of pitches. And, hey, it didn’t work again! Singer gave up two hits and could only get one out.

I never like when managers do this. What’s the benefit? Singer gets an eighth inning? You’re still gonna need something out of the bullpen. We all know that hitters do better the third and fourth time around the order. If Singer gives you seven scoreless innings at 90+ pitches, just take it and give the bullpen a clean inning.

Although, begrudgingly, maybe Quatraro had the right idea considering the rest of what happened.

Carlos Hernandez came in for Singer and immediately started pitching in the strike zone—a little too in the strike zone—and the Mariners got three consecutive hits off him. But he got swings and misses and struck two out to close out the inning. Look: Hernandez was fine. He got eight swings and misses on 18 pitches. No walks. Still, Singer’s two men left on base scored, and Hernandez allowed two of his own to score to make it 5-4, Royals.

In the top of the ninth inning, though, the Mariners came roaring back. Austin Cox walked a pair. Nick Wittgren then gave up two more hits. 6-5, Mariners. It was certainly a frustrating inning.

Fortunately, it was not the end. Witt led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. He was attempting to steal second base when Massey ripped a single to right field, allowing Witt to go to third base. Samad Taylor pinch ran for Massey, stole a base, and went to third as Witt scored on a Salvy fly ball.

Dairon Blanco, who entered the game earlier as a defensive replacement for MJ Melendez, then proceed to do what he does best: lay down a perfect bunt to score Taylor from third base. The next time a team defends this play will be the first.

Eight runs were scored in the eighth and ninth innings alone. Eight. Crazy. The Royals have now won eight of their last nine games at Kauffman Stadium. Whew. I’m going to go take a shower and then go to bed. Emotionally draining night—but it was a baseball game to remember.