A two-run wild pitch in the top of the sixth helped the Mariners snap a four-game losing streak with 3-2 win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City Friday (box). Hisashi Iwakuma pitched 6.1 innings, striking out six in the win.
In the fateful sixth with two outs and the game tied at 1, 2B Robinson Cano lined a double to right field to send LF Seth Smith, who singled, to third. With DH Nelson Cruz at the plate, starter Yordano Ventura bounced a pitch in the dirt off C Salvador Perez, who charged into the infield for the ball and then threw past Ventura, covering the plate. Smith was safe and the ball rolled to the backstop wall, allowing Cano to score from second for a 3-1 lead.
Cano had two hits, as did 3B Kyle Seager, including his 26th double of the season (third AL) , and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Cruz’s lone hit was his 23rd double. The Mariners were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
Perez tried to make up for his gaffe with one out in the ninth, smashing his 13th home run of the season over the left field wall against closer Steve Cishek. A night earlier, Perez hit a walk-off double off Cishek in a 4-3 Royals triumph.
Iwakuma improved to 9-6, surrendering one run on five hits and walking three. Cishek picked up his 21st save after striking out the final two batters after Perez’s homer. That was the only baserunner allowed by Cishek and three other relievers — Edwin Diaz, Vidal Nuno and Joaquin Benoit.
“The good thing is to win a game, no matter how you win the game. I saw I had a chance to score, I took my chances, and it ended up working for us. They’ve got a tough catcher behind the plate, but we took advantage.” – Cano on the wild pitch
Reliever Charlie Furbush returned to action Friday at Class A Everett after being out for a year, but results were not good. He gave up three runs, including two home runs, while getting two outs . . . Iwakuma is 4-0 in his career against the Royals (five career starts) . . . Seattle leads the major leagues in one-run games with 31, and Friday was the 13th win . . . Friday’s win snapped a 10-game losing streak on the road to June 18.
In game three of the four-game series at 1:15 p.m. PT Saturday, Mariners lefty Wade Miley (6-5, 5.36) will square off against Edinson Volquez (7-8, 4.87).