Hernandez Hits Tie Breaking Sacrifice fly, Mariners Edge Royals 6-5
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Teoscar Hernandez hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and the Seattle Mariners beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Wednesday night.
Julio Rodriguez had four hits for Seattle, including a ninth-inning single that provided an insurance run the Mariners wound up needing. Cal Raleigh added a home run and a double.
“Obviously Julio had a huge night for us,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Probably the most impressive thing he did for us was take the (single) into right field in the ninth inning. We needed all the insurance runs we could get. That proved to be the winning run in the ballgame.”
Dylan Moore opened the eighth by reaching on an error and came around to score on Hernandez's fly to make it 5-4. The ball ended up close to the tarp down the right-field line, and Moore knew he was going.
“It was foul, so I was definitely tagging no matter what,” Moore said. “The closer it got to the tarp, I thought it might be a weird angle. It was definitely shallow, but I thought he might have to jump or get out of the way of something.”
Luis Castillo (9-7) allowed four runs on nine hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out three.
“It was a really good effort by Luis Castillo,” Servais said. “He knew we needed him to get deep in the game. It took him a while to kind of get into his stuff, but we've seen that from Luis once in a while. He did find it and was able to get through seven.”
Matt Brash picked up his third save despite allowing Nelson Velazquez's homer in the ninth.
Dylan Coleman (0-1) took the loss for Kansas City. James McArthur, who made his first major league start as the opener for the Royals, allowed three runs on three hits in one inning.
The Mariners wasted no time in foiling the Royals' opener plan. Rodriguez led off with a double to the gap in right-center. He scored on Ty France's single, and France scored on Raleigh's two-run homer. Castillo had a three-run lead before he threw his first pitch.
Maikel Garcia extended his Royals rookie-record hitting streak to 18 games with a double on the first pitch from Castillo. It's the longest active streak in the majors. Garcia went to third on a groundout by Bobby Witt Jr. and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Massey.
The Mariners answered the Royals' run with another in the second. Rodriguez drove home Jose Caballero with a single.
The Royals got another run in the second on a sacrifice fly, this one by Kyle Isbel, scoring Drew Waters, who led off the inning with a triple. They drew within one in the third on a two-out double by MJ Melendez, scoring Salvador Perez from first.
“We weren't able to produce big numbers, but overall we did a good job,” Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said of his offense. “They had good at-bats right from the get-go. I was really pleased.”
The Royals loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth, but they only got the tying run. Velazquez grounded into a double play to squash the rally.
Mariners: C Tom Murphy was placed on the 10-day Injured List with a left thumb sprain, retroactive to Aug. 14. In a corresponding move, the Mariners selected C Brian O’Keefe from Triple-A Tacoma.
Royals: RHP Nick Wittgren was optioned to Triple-A Omaha following last night's game. RHP John McMillon was selected from Double-A Northwest Arkansas. The Royals also transferred RHP Brad Keller to 60-day Injured List.
The Mariners and Royals will compete their four-game series with a Thursday matinee. Seattle will send RHP George Kirby (10-8, 3.32 ERA) to the mound. Kansas City will counter with LHP Angel Zerpa (1-1, 7.71 ERA).