Smoak and Paxton Lead Mariners to Shutout Win
Justin Smoak hit a three-run homer and rookie James Paxton pitched 7 shutout innings to lead the Mariners to a 4-0 win over the Kansas City Royals. It was Smoaks 19th home-run of the year but only his second home-run from the right side. Paxton, making just his fourth major league start, worked a career-high seven innings, allowing four hits, walking none and striking out a career-high 10.
The playoff picture looks as bleak as it can be for the Royals (83-74). They are four games behind Cleveland for the second wild-card berth with five games to play.
The loss, hurt the Royals chances of the playoffs. The Royals' three competitors for the two wild-card spots — Tampa Bay, Texas and Cleveland — all won Tuesday. The Royals need to win every game and have both the Indians and Rangers completely collapse.
The Mariner's host the Royals again tonight at Safeco Field.