June 20, 2024

Rodríguez hits tiebreaking single in 3-run 10th as Mariners outlast Royals 6-5 to avoid 1st sweep

Kansas City Royals' Vinnie Pasquantino hits a triple during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By MARC BOWMAN Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Julio Rodríguez hit a tiebreaking single in the 10th inning, Cal Raleigh added a two-run single and the Seattle Mariners held off the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Sunday to avoid getting swept for the first time this season.
J.P. Crawford hit his second consecutive leadoff homer and George Kirby pitched seven splendid innings for the AL West leaders, who squandered leads while losing the first two games of the weekend series.
“It’s a tough place to win a ballgame,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “The Royals are pesky as hell. We needed all the extra cushion that Cal provided with the big hit there.”
Seattle blew a late lead again Sunday but recovered to halt Kansas City’s three-game winning streak.
MJ Melendez hit a two-run homer off Mariners reliever Mike Baumann (3-0) with two outs in the ninth to tie it 3-all.
“MJ was ready to hit,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “Really good approach. Looked like a fastball, pretty much middle, and he was ready to go.”
With runners at the corners and two outs in the 10th, Rodríguez singled to right field off James McArthur (2-3) to break the tie. Mitch Garver walked and Raleigh followed with a two-run single to make it 6-3.
“It was huge to squeak one out today,” Raleigh said. “We needed that one.”
Hunter Renfroe led off the bottom half with a two-run homer against Austin Voth, and Kyle Isbel singled. Taylor Saucedo entered with two outs and got Vinnie Pasquantino on a game-ending grounder for his third save.
Making his major league debut, Tyler Locklear broke a 1-all tie with a seventh-inning double and scored on pinch-hitter Josh Rojas’ single to give Seattle a 3-1 lead.
“I thought (the double) was going to hang up a little bit,” Locklear said. “Just glad that ball got down and we got a run out of it.”
Kirby permitted just two hits over the first four scoreless innings. Freddy Fermin and Renfroe hit consecutive singles in the fifth before Isbel’s squeeze bunt tied the game.
“They’re aggressive,” Kirby said. “You’ve got to really try to be precise with the slider. They were swinging at everything, so just I focused on location.”
Kirby completed seven innings, allowing a run on five hits with four strikeouts.
“He established his fastball inside,” Servais said. “We needed all seven innings from him today. He stood up and did exactly what we needed.”
Crawford led off with a homer for the second straight game, his 12th career leadoff shot and fifth since 2023 — most in the majors.
It was the first home run given up by Royals starter Cole Ragans since May 11.
“Just got to move on,” Ragans said. “Lot of game left. The guys we have can put up crooked numbers.”
Ragans retired 12 of the next 13 batters — eight by strikeout — and finished six innings. He allowed just one run on three hits and a walk, fanning nine.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Seattle placed 1B Ty France on the 10-day injured list with a fractured right heel and called up Locklear from Triple-A Tacoma. RHP Matt Bowman was selected from Tacoma and RHP Collin Snider was optioned to Tacoma. RHPs Levi Stoudt and Eduardo Salazar were designated for assignment.
UP NEXT
Mariners RHP Logan Gilbert (3-4, 3.12 ERA) opposes White Sox RHP Erick Fedde (4-1, 3.27) at home Monday night.
Royals RHP Seth Lugo (9-1, 2.13 ERA) faces Yankees LHP Carlos Rodón (8-2, 3.08) in Kansas City on Monday night.