Royals

Royals pick off 5-3 victory against Mariners

Eric Hosmer (left) congratulated Royals teammate Salvador Perez after Perez hit a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium.
Eric Hosmer (left) congratulated Royals teammate Salvador Perez after Perez hit a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium. jsleezer@kcstar.com

Salvador Perez credited his pickoff throw to the guy who made the putout, first baseman Eric Hosmer.

“Hosmer, that’s Hosmer,” Perez said. “He just gave me a sign and the throw was right here.”

Hosmer, naturally, dished the assist to Perez.

“That’s all him,” Hosmer said. “It was just an unbelievable play. That’s why Salvy is the best. He changes the game and took all the momentum away from them right there.”

Whoever the brainchild behind the pickoff of Kyle Seager in the eighth inning of the Royals’ 5-3 victory over the Mariners on Saturday, it occurred at an ideal moment.

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The Royals owned a two-run lead but Seattle had runners at first and third with one out. Seager wandered too far from first, and Perez’s snap throw was perfectly placed. Hosmer got down the tag, the play survived a replay review and the Royals had a big out supplied by their two Gold Glovers. Perez had his first pickoff this season, the 18th of his career, which is the most in baseball since Perez entered the league in 2011.

“They’re a great tandem, they work really well in those situations,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Many other things went right for the Royals on a day when the bats awoke from a slumber.

The Royals entered the game having lost five of six, and they had reached as many as four runs only in their triumph.

Kelvin Herrera on his save

They were on their way to a productive game in the second inning when the Royals strung together three runs, the most in one inning in a week, and worked late as Perez socked his 14th home run of the season, his second in two days, this one off the left-field fair pole in the seventh.

Early on, the rookies supplied the pop. Doubles by Brett Eibner, Cheslor Cuthbert and Whit Merrifield sparked the second inning. All had joined the team since the last time the Royals had faced Mariners starter Wade Miley, who hurled a shutout in Seattle on April 30.

Eibner’s double moved Perez to third. Perez scored on Alcides Escobar’s fielder’s choice grounder. Then Cuthbert and Merrifield hits drove in runs.

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Cuthbert struck again in the sixth. Paulo Orlando reached on an infield single and Eibner walked. Escobar attempted to bunt them over, but Orlando was thrown out at third.

Cuthbert came through with an RBI single over the shortstop to make it 4-3.

“It was an off-speed pitch and I put a good swing on it,” Cuthbert said. “I didn’t try to put any pressure on myself, I just tried to look for a good pitch I could handle.”

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The run made a winner of Edinson Volquez, who improved to 8-8. He was sailing through three innings and made it 11 straight retired to open the game when he got the first two outs in the fourth.

But singles by Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz put Volquez in a spot of trouble. He got two strikes on Seager and then made his only mistake of the day. Seager’s 18th home run of the season flew over the left-field wall, 427 feet away from where it started.

“You cannot let one of their best hitters beat you, 0-2,” Volquez said. “It was a bad pitch, to throw a fast ball to one of the best hitters in the lineup.”

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But Volquez limited the damage to that swing. He struck out three, walked one and was around the plate all day with strikes on 68 of his 91 pitches.

He told Yost he was ready to pitch the seventh, but the bullpen was rested and lined up, even without closer Wade Davis, who continues his stint on the disabled list.

In the first save situation in Davis’ absence, the Royals went with Luke Hochevar, who worked around two base runners in the seventh. Joakim Soria was aided by Perez’s pickoff throw in the eighth, and Kelvin Herrera entered the ninth, seeking his first save since April, 2013, and sixth of his career.

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He was ready for the duty.

“In my mind, it’s another inning,” Herrera said. “But it’s better because you have the fans cheering for you. It’s pretty good.”

The victory pushed the Royals to 45-42 and in the thick of the second place scramble behind the Indians in the AL Central. One game remains before the All-Star break, which won’t be time off for Perez, Hosmer, Herrera and the Royals staff led by Yost, all headed to San Diego.

Royals 5, Mariners 3

TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Seattle

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Martin cf

2

0

0

0

2

1

.240

Smith lf

4

0

0

0

0

2

.274

Cano 2b

4

1

1

0

0

0

.312

Cruz rf

3

1

2

0

1

0

.280

Seager 3b

4

1

2

3

0

0

.285

Lee dh

2

0

0

0

0

1

.288

a-Gutierrez ph-dh

2

0

0

0

0

0

.241

Lind 1b

4

0

1

0

0

0

.232

Iannetta c

3

0

0

0

0

0

.222

b-O’Malley ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.211

Marte ss

4

0

2

0

0

0

.268

Totals

33

3

8

3

3

4

TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Merrifield lf

5

0

2

1

0

2

.291

Colon 2b

4

0

0

0

0

1

.256

Morales dh

4

0

2

0

0

0

.260

Hosmer 1b

4

0

1

0

0

0

.299

Perez c

3

2

1

1

1

0

.281

Orlando cf

4

0

1

0

0

2

.324

Eibner rf

3

2

1

0

1

0

.269

Escobar ss

4

0

2

1

0

0

.262

Cuthbert 3b

4

1

2

2

0

1

.281

Totals

35

5

12

5

2

6

TableStyle: SP-basebyinningsCCI Template: SP-basebyinnings

Seattle

000

300

000

3

8

0

Kansas City

030

001

10x

5

12

0

a-popped out for Lee in the 6th. b-flied out for Iannetta in the 9th.

LOB: Seattle 6, Kansas City 8. 2B: Cruz (17), Lind (9), Merrifield (14), Eibner (6), Cuthbert (8). HR: Seager (18), off Volquez; Perez (14), off Nuno. RBIs: Seager 3 (59), Merrifield (16), Perez (41), Escobar (23), Cuthbert 2 (27). CS: Marte (5).

Runners left in scoring position: Seattle 4 (Smith 2, Gutierrez 2); Kansas City 3 (Colon 2, Perez). RISP: Seattle 2 for 8; Kansas City 3 for 9. Runners moved up: Seager, Escobar. GIDP: Colon. DP: Seattle 1 (Seager, Cano, Lind).

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Seattle

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

ERA

Miley L, 6-6

5.1

10

4

4

2

4

5.44

Wilhelmsen

1

0

0

0

0

1

0.00

Nuno

1.2

2

1

1

0

1

3.34

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

ERA

Volquez W, 8-8

6

6

3

3

1

3

4.85

Hochevar

1

1

0

0

1

1

3.18

Soria

1

1

0

0

1

0

3.20

Herrera S, 1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1.77

Holds: Hochevar (13), Soria (12). Inherited runners-scored: Wilhelmsen 2-0.

Umpires: Home, CB Bucknor; First, Fieldin Culbreth; Second, Jim Reynolds; Third, Manny Gonzalez. Time: 2:53. Att: 30,659. (37,903).

AP-WF-07-09-16 2318GMT

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