Say this ... the Royals went down on a knockout blow Wednesday in a 6-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Kendrys Morales crushed a two-out fastball from Aaron Crow for a two-run homer in the ninth inning for the winning runs.
One mistake can hurt you, Crow said, and thats what happened. I just left it over the plate.
Morales sent a 97-mph heater on a 1-2 pitch from Crow soaring 414 feet to center field and easily over the wall.
It was a fastball, Morales said through an interpreter. I was very prepared.
The loss ended the Royals three-game winning streak and made their long-shot drive to secure a postseason berth for the first time in 28 years a little more of a long shot.
It was a tough game, first baseman Eric Hosmer said. Their bullpen came in and did a great job. It was one pitch, one mistake. Thats baseball. Weve got to come back (Thursday). ... Weve just got to win the series.
Crow, 7-5, inherited a 4-4 tie to start the ninth but issued a one-out walk to Franklin Gutierrez after jumping ahead 1-2 in the count. Crow retired Kyle Seager on a fly to center before Morales unloaded.
I was up 1-2 on Gutierrez, Crow said, and youve got to put him away in that situation. The home run is what lost the game, but up 1-2 in that situation, youve got to put that guy away.
If he gets out, then Morales doesnt even get up.
Lucas Luetge, 1-2, got the victory after working two scoreless innings. Danny Farquhar breezed through a one-two-three ninth for his 12th save.
It was a tough loss.
The Royals erased a four-run deficit in the fourth against Seattle rookie Taijuan Walker but managed just one runner, on a walk, over the final five innings.
We got all four hits and all four runs in that inning, manager Ned Yost said. That was it. We faced some good arms today.
The Royals, 72-67, fell temporarily five games behind Tampa Bay in the chase for the American Leagues final wild-card berth. The Rays played later Wednesday at Los Angeles.
Seattle roughed up Royals starter Ervin Santana for four runs and seven hits in a season-worst 31/3 innings. His winless streak is now at six starts after giving up two runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth.
I didnt have my best stuff tonight, he said, but Ill just get them next time. ... Ive been pitching good. Thats the only thing that matters. If I dont win, and we have a chance to win, thats good for me.
Walker breezed through three innings before blowing a four-run lead in the fourth inning. He worked through the fifth before the Mariners went to their bullpen.
The Royals flashed some defense after the Mariners mounted a two-out threat against Santana in the first inning. Seager flared a single to left and tried to score when Morales pulled a pulled a double past first.
Hosmer took the throw from right fielder David Lough and threw home to Salvy Perez, who applied the tag for the final. Seager and the Mariners believed he avoided the tag.
Santana wasnt as fortunate in the third.
Mike Zunino led off with a soft single to center before moving to third on Nick Franklins double into the right-center gap. Zunino scored on Brad Millers sacrifice fly to deep center.
Franklin Gutierrezs soft chopper past first turned into an RBI single against a drawn-in infield for a 2-0 lead.
The Mariners came back for more in the fourth after Raul Ibañez led off with a double into the right-field corner. Santana walked Justin Smoak before Dustin Ackleys grounder to second turned into a force.
A walk to Zunino loaded the bases before Franklin lined a single into center for a 3-0 lead and that finished Santana.
The Royals called on Wade Davis for his first relief appearance of the year ... with the bases loaded and one out. Davis second offering was a run-scoring wild pitch for a 4-0 lead.
Emilio Bonifacio started a four-run answer later in the inning with a leadoff walk. The Royals then got their first hit when Hosmer drove a single to right.
Billy Butler followed with an RBI single before fly outs by Mike Moustakas and Perez scored Hosmer. David Loughs double moved Butler to third before Jarrod Dyson chopped a two-run single up the middle.
The Royals were even at 4-4, which is how it stayed until the ninth.
It wasnt the Morales at-bat as much as it was the (Gutierrez) at-bat, Yost said. You get in a situation where youre in control of the at-bat, thats the guy you want to put away so you dont have to face a guy like Morales.