The Mariners scored seven runs in the third inning, a single-inning high for the season, to chase starter Jeremy Guthrie and trounce the Royals — the team with the American League’s best record — 11-2 Monday night in Kansas City (box score). Hisashi Iwakuma, backed by five home runs, including two from 2B Robinson Cano, tied his season high with 10 strikeouts in seven innings as the Mariners (74-77) won for the 13th time in 19 games.Essential moment
Ahead 2-0 after first-inning solo homers by Cano and 3B Kyle Seager, the Mariners wrapped up the game in the third when Cano smashed a three-run shot 443 feet into the right center field waterfall at Kauffman Stadium, his 19th of the season, for a 6-0 lead.
The Mariners entered the game leading the AL with 217 extra-base hits since the All-Star break and added eight more. Besides Cano and Seager, CF Brad Miller also homered, a two-run shot in third, as did 1B Jesus Montero in the fifth. SS Ketel Marte, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, had a triple in the third and Franklin Gutierrez a double, making for a one-inning team cycle.
Iwakuma was masterful with his split-finger fastball, allowing three hits and one walk in his seven-inning shutout for his ninth win of the season. The Royals runs were given up in the eighth by reliever Tony Zych and in the ninth by J.C. Ramirez.
Guthrie, who entered the game with an 8-7 record and a 5.55 ERA, was called out of the bullpen for a spot start for the first time in a month. He gave up nine runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings.
“The offense was really, really good, and Kuma just breezed with the lead . . It’s not rocket science: We were getting pitches to hit up in the zone and took advantage. Traditionally this ballpark doesn’t play this small. The ball really jumped in early (batting practice) and carried over to the game.” — Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon.
The Mariners won for the ninth time in 13 games against the Royals and have scored 20 runs in the past two games . . . Cano’s two homers put him at 1,999 hits for his career . . . McClendon said no problems lingered from Felix Hernandez’s tight elbow that caused his early departure after 105 pitches from his previous start in Texas Sunday. He’ll likely make his next start Friday against the Angels in Anaheim . . . 1B Logan Morrison flew home to Seattle Sunday to be with his wife, Christie, for the birth of their first child, daughter Ily Sophia, and will likely miss another game or two before rejoining the club.
The second of the three-game series is 5:10 p.m. Tuesday PT when LHP Roenis Elias (5-8, 4.07 ERA) takes on RHP Yordano Ventura (12-8, 4.40).