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Jun 9, 2024 7:38 am

Mariners out to stop Royals’ hit parade

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The Kansas City Royals are resilient.

Every time the visiting Seattle Mariners scored Saturday afternoon, the Royals came back with runs in the bottom of the inning.

Adam Frazier homered, and Vinnie Pasquantino and Kyle Isbel added two-run doubles in Kansas City’s 8-4 victory.

The Royals, who rallied from an eight-run deficit for a 10-9 decision in the series opener, will go for a three-game home sweep Sunday afternoon.

“Guys seem to be putting together some really nice at-bats right now,” said Pasquantino, who broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth inning with his liner down the right-field line. “Two-out, runners-in-scoring-position hits — that’s going to win you some games.”

The Royals scored five times off Mariners ace Luis Castillo over the first five innings.

“Good at-bats, right from the get-go, making Castillo work,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “We put pressure on him, no easy outs, right from (Maikel Garcia’s) at-bat to start the game. To get him out of there after five was huge.”

Seattle’s pitching staff, regarded as one of the best in the game, has allowed 18 runs on 19 hits with 11 walks and 11 strikeouts in the first two games of the series.

“We have had a hard time slowing down the Royals,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Their offense has had a lot of success against our pitching, which is new for us. We usually control the strike zone and get after it, but it’s been a struggle here.”

The Mariners’ J.P. Crawford hit the first pitch of Saturday’s game for a home run, and Mitch Garver added a towering shot off the left-field foul pole in the fifth inning.

“First pitch of the game you’re not really expecting a home run, but I was able to bounce back,” said Royals right-hander Alec Marsh, who got the victory.

Marsh retired the next 13 batters — eight on strikeouts — before Garver’s homer tied the score at 2-2.

The ultra-aggressive Royals, who were always looking to take an extra base, improved to 24-10 at home.

“It’s the Royals’ way,” Garver said. “It’s the way they’ve been doing it for the past decade. It’s a really tough, tough team to play against. And then obviously, you pair that with their pitching, and the back end of the bullpen is really solid, too.”

The Mariners are scheduled to send right-hander George Kirby (5-5, 4.05 ERA) to the mound Sunday against Royals left-hander Cole Ragans (4-4, 3.21).

Kirby is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against the Royals, including pitching seven shutout innings in a 6-2 victory May 13 in Seattle. Ragans gave up no runs and no hits in relief last June in his only appearance against the Mariners.

“We will run another really good pitcher out there again (Sunday),” Servais said. “After (Friday) night’s game was a little crazy, our guys showed up today ready to compete. It was just not enough.”

–Field Level Media

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