The Royals threatened late in the game, but it wasn’t enough as the Mariners rapped out 16 hits in a 7-5 win Friday night to open the series in Seattle. Kyle Isbel had a big night, going 2-for-3 with a home run, walk, 3 RBI, and a terrific catch at the wall. But three Mariners hitters enjoyed three-hit nights, including Eugenio Suarez, who drove in three runs.
It was an ominous start for Royals starter Brady Singer, as his first pitch was smacked over the fence by J.P. Crawford for a home run. He continued to labor in the first as Julio Rodriguez reached on an infield single and stole second, coming around to score on a Cal Raleigh single to make it 2-0 Mariners.
The Royals reclaimed the lead in the second off Seattle starter Bryce Miller. Salvador Perez led off with a single, followed by a double by MJ Melendez. Nelson Velazquez hit a blooper to right to score Salvy to put the Royals on the board. Miller tried to pick off Velazquez at first, but threw wildly, allowing Melendez to score. Drew Waters laced a double to move Velazquez to third. Kyle Isbel singled Velazquez home to give the Royals the lead, although Waters was cut down at home trying to score on the hit, possibly preventing a bigger inning.
Singer ran into more trouble in the fourth. With two on and two out, Julio Rodriguez hit a grounder to first that Matt Beaty couldn’t handle. Michael Massey recovered it and threw to Singer at first, but they weren’t able to convert the out, loading the bases. Eugenio Suarez singled home two runs to give Seattle a 4-3 lead. Singer would exit after just four innings - as would Seattle starter Bryce Miller. Singer allowed nine hits and four runs, although with six strikeouts.
Austin Cox came on in the fifth and immediately ran into trouble, allowing a double to Teoscar Hernandez and a single to Dominic Canzone. A wild pitch got a few feet away from Salvy, but it was enough for Hernandez to score. Josh Rojas followed up with an RBI single to make it 6-3 Mariners.
The Royals inched closer to the Mariners in the seventh off hard-throwing reliever Matt Brash. Matt Beaty led off with a single and Kyle Isbel turned on an inside fastball, smacking it 396 feet for his fifth home run of the season.
Bobby Witt Jr. nearly tied it up, lacing a drive to the right-centerfield gap shot that fell just a few feet shy of going over the fence. Instead, it fell beyond the outstretched glove of centerfielder Julio Rodriguez and Witt raced to third with a triple. But Matt Duffy, pinch-hitting for Michael Massey against lefty Tayler Saucedo, grounded out to end the threat.
Taylor Hearn gave up a run on an RBI double to Eugenio Suarez in the eighth to make it 7-5 Mariners. The Royals put two runners on in the ninth against closer Andres Munoz, putting the tying run on base. But with Duffy hitting behind Bobby Witt Jr., the Mariners elected to intentionally walk the red-hot Witt. Freddie Fermin pinch-hit for Duffy and bounced out to end the game.
The Royals fall to 41-88 and will try to even the series tomorrow afternoon at 3:10 CT with Jordan Lyles scheduled to face Logan Gilbert.