Mariners unleash late-inning offense

After winning the first game of 3-game series against visiting Kansas City Royals in a 4 – 1 victory, Mariners has secured another win in front of 28,583 attendance with 20,000 procuring the shiny Edgar Martinez replica statue on Saturday night at T-Mobile Park. Here is the game summary inning by inning.

1st inning

Brash paints the corner, but does not get a call

The Mariners starting pitcher was Brash, who turns out the be the 5th Canadian-born player in the organization. He was off to a great start with a 3.38 ERA over 10.2 innings for his first year as a major leaguer. Royals center fielder, Merrifield hit a double off his curveball that landed just outside the zone and put Brash an instant jam with runners on second and third with no outs after walking the leadoff hitter. Benintendi gave the Royals a lead with an RBI ground out. Brash’s command seemed a bit shaky, but fought back by grounding out Perez into a force out. The umpire did not call his knuckle-curve a strike as it was just outside the zone, which ended up walking Santana. However, he managed to retire Dozier on the ground out.

Crawford hits a sweet spot to deliver a go-ahead two-run homer

Royals starting pitcher, Bubic — who was selected in Competitive Balance Round A in 2018 — was off to a rough start with an ERA of 10.80 over 5 innings. He ended up allowing a single to France and surrenderd a two-run homer to Crawford, who signed a 5-year, 51 million extension on the first game of the season. The homer indiciated why he signed a long-term deal and became the new clubhouse leader after Kyle Seager retiring.

2nd inning

Brash retires the side

Brash faced the bottom of the order and smoothly retired the side.

Kelenic drives an RBI single

Bubic let Murphy advance to second base on a balk. Kelenic hit an RBI single on a ground ball to give a two-run lead and stole the second base to boot. France also singled to give Mariners a 4 – 1 lead.

3rd inning

Perez fouls off 95-mph fastball that stayed in the middle

Brash started to be in a groove as he had guts to throw a 95-mph fastball right down the middle to last year’s home run leader, Perez. He escaped another jam by leaving two runners stranded by striking out Santana.

Call was too close to overturn; the call was out

Former Reds, Suarez hit a stand-up double to start another offense. Toro then hit a ground-rule double to give a 4-run lead to Mariners. That marked the end of Bubic’s outing as Payamps steps on the mound. Murphy hits the third double of the inning, but Toro did not run home to score as he thought it was going to be a flyout. Next battter, Kelenic ended up chasing pitches on top of the zone by swinging relentlessly. The first challenge of the game occurred as Moore reached the base on a bang-bang play as he was called out. After a review, it was too close to overturn.

4th inning

Brash strikes out Lopez with his slider

Brash allowed a single to Witt Jr., who was picked 2nd overall in 2019 and walks O’Hearn with one out, but managed to get out of jam by striking out Lopez on a nasty slider that landed just inside.

Bolaños get a groundout from Toro

The third pitcher from the Royals, Bolaños also allowed a single and a walk to put him in a dangerous spot, but got Toro on a ground out with a 96-mph sinker inside part of the plate.

5th inning

Despite the diving catch, Crawford’s throw leads to an error

Brash got replaced by Festa after allowing consecutive singles to Benintendi and Perez. The interim manager, Kristopher Negron made the decision as Servias had been on COVID-19 list. Brash left the game with no decision. Festa started with a 0-3 count against Santana and ended up walking to load the bases, which meant one home run was needed to tie the game for the Royals. A couple of costly throwing errors by Crawford and Suarez ensued as two scored on a Dozier’s single and Witt Jr. made it a one-run game with a single to the center field. Witt Jr. then stole 2nd, but Festa struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

Garrett strikes out Kelenic

Mariners’s top prospect, 21-year-old, Julio Rodriguez doubled, but Royals manager, Matheny called up a left-handed pitcher, Garrett to handle Kelenic and Moore to strand Rodriguez.

6th inning

Swanson strikes Benintendi out looking

Mariner’s third pitcher of the game, Erik Swanson quickly ended the inning by striking out two.

Suarez celebrates at the base

Snider replaced Garrett to handle the right-handed France, who singled off his slider and Crawford drew a walk to reach the base for the third time. Suarez hit his second double to the center field to give a two-run lead again by 6 – 4.

7th inning

Santana does not miss the pitch in middle of the plate to deliver a game-tying home run

New pitcher, Yohan Ramirez ended up hitting Perez’s hand. Perez was fine as he advanced to the first base. Did it motivate Santana to do something for the team and Perez? He did not hesitate to swing at the first pitch — a 95-mph fastball down the middle — for the fence and it went over to tie the game. That was not the end of rally as the pinch-hit go-ahead RBI double by Olivares put the Royals front. Using the pinch hitter worked to counter Misiewicz who replaced Ramirez.

Mariners also responded with Rodriguez’s single and stolen base, which prompted Mariners to send a pinch hitter as well. Winker drew a walk and the red-hot France hit a game-tying single that scored Rodriguez whose efforts of stealing a base and sliding home with full speed paid off.

8th inning

Castillo retires the sides

Former Rays closer, Castillo managed to retire the side.

France hits a sweet spot for a 3-run home run

New pitcher Brentz ended up walking Suarez and Toro consecutively and the pinch runner, Walton replaced Suarez to aim for a go-ahead run. Brentz even walked Murphy and had to face Rodriguez with bases loaded with no out. With fans cheering “Julio”, the hero draws an RBI walk to give the Mariners a lead by 8 – 7 after a patient at-bat. The offense kept going as Winker hit a two-run double to the right field to give more lead by 10 – 7. The Royals had no choice but to make a pitching change. However, that did not stop Mariners’s offense from exploding as the player of the game, none other than France, delivered a 3-run bomb on a 96-mph fastball that sit in the middle of the plate to make the score 13 – 7.

9th inning

Mariners win by 13 – 7 and France has his first 5-hit game

Right-handed pitcher, Koch closed the game by retiring the side.

Takeaway from the game

Mariners

  • Ty France went 5-for-6 with 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored
  • Julio Rodriguez is both patient (RBI walk) and aggressive (Stolen Base)
  • Despite leaving manny runners (8-for-24) in a scoring position, Mariners still found a way to win

Royals

  • Carlos Santana went 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs and 2 BB; as good as when he was Indians (now Guardians)
  • Andrew Benintendi is in a good form as if he is likely to maintain .300 average for a while
  • Amir Garrett seems unhittable as he has not allowed a hit over 4.1 innings

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