The Seattle Mariners ' offense has been quite a mystery over the last week, piling up runs one game and failing to produce the next.
The biggest unknown for the Mariners' game in Kansas City on Tuesday night, however, is the Royals' stating pitcher.
Seattle (38-53) has split its last six games, combining for 23 runs in the wins while scoring three in the defeats. The Mariners' offense was on from the start Monday, pushing across five runs in the first inning en route to a 9-4 victory over Kansas City.
Casper Wells had a career-best five RBIs on a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run triple in the second, both coming off Jonathan Sanchez . Justin Smoak also had a two-run homer off Sanchez, while Dustin Ackley hit a solo shot in the sixth inning to cap Seattle's scoring.
The Mariners have won seven of their last 11 games when hitting at least one homer."We can't control the end result," manager Eric Wedge said. "We just want to go out there, put together good at-bats, turn around some fastballs, and if we do that, the runs will come."
Monday's outburst might not have been that big of a surprise, however, considering Sanchez has a 12.18 ERA over his last four starts.
The beleaguered starter was done after 1 1-3 innings and instead of emptying the bullpen, Royals manager Ned Yost decided to burn Tuesday's scheduled starter Everett Teaford , who did an admirable job in relief, yielding a run and three hits over five innings.
Teaford's outing leaves an opening for a starter for Tuesday, though, and the Royals (38-50) announced a replacement wouldn't be made until sometime on game day.
There is speculation Doug Davis could be called up from the minors to make the start considering he is slated to pitch Tuesday. The veteran left-hander hasn't pitched in the majors since last June for the Chicago Cubs , and is 5-0 with a 2.83 ERA in six minor league starts this year.
The Mariners are also expected to turn to a minor leaguer on Tuesday, as they're set to recall Blake Beavan (3-6, 5.92 ERA).
Beavan was sent to the minors after being tagged for six runs in two innings of an 8-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 10. He had an 11.77 ERA in his final three starts before his demotion but pitched much better with Triple-A Tacoma, going 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA in six outings.
In his only career game against the Royals on Sept. 9, the right-hander allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-3 win.
He'll be facing a Kansas City team that has lost six of seven and 11 of 14.
Royals All-Star Billy Butler belted his 17th homer Monday, but Alex Gordon has been the team's hottest hitter of late. Gordon went 3 for 4 Monday, and is batting .462 with four doubles during a six-game hitting streak.
|July 01, 2012||Erasmo Ramirez||15-Day DL||Right elbow flexor strain|
|June 30, 2012||Erasmo Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left game - leg injury|
|June 29, 2012||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Left Game-Head Injury|
|June 29, 2012||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 27, 2012||Kevin Millwood||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right groin|
|June 13, 2012||Stephen Pryor||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|Kansas City Royals|
|July 05, 2012||Luke Hochevar||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
|June 18, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Lateral strain in lower left leg|
|June 18, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Lateral strain in lower left leg|
|June 07, 2012||Felipe Paulino||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
|May 26, 2012||Jarrod Dyson||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right hamstring injury|
|May 22, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Left ribcage contusion|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Seattle Mariners ' quick-strike offense has scored 13 runs in the first two innings in winning their first two games at Kansas City.
Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders each hit two-run homers and the Mariners beat the Royals 9-6 Tuesday night.
Every Mariners starter had at least one hit. Jesus Montero went 3 for 4 and drove in two runs.
Smoak homered with Montero aboard in the three-run first inning. It was the second straight game Smoak homered in the first. Montero's double scored Casper Wells with the first run.
"Those guys are swinging the bats well, too, so we're going to have score some runs," Smoak said. "It was good to get on the board early."
The Mariners, who scored seven runs in the first two innings Monday, added three more runs in the second inning.
"It's good any time the offense goes out there and puts up early runs like that," said winning pitcher Blake Beaven. "It gives you more confidence to go out there and get them back in the dugout and let them keep swinging it."
Saunders homered in the fifth inning off Vin Mazzaro after Miguel Olivo singled to give the Mariners a 9-3 cushion.
"When you set the tone early like that and give yourself some breathing room, it allows our young players to go out there and relax and play and work to their true abilities a little bit easier," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "We've had some guys that have been struggling and working to find it. It's been nice to see them put some consistent days together. It's nice to see us swing the bats like that."
The Mariners' three-run second chased left-hander Ryan Verdugo , who was making his big league debut. Kyle Seager doubled home two runs, while Montero singled in the other run.
Beaven (4-6), who was just recalled from Triple-A Tacoma, worked six-plus innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He logged his first victory
since May 30 after going 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA in two June starts, which merited a demotion to the Pacific Coast League.
Verdugo (0-1) yielded six runs on eight hits and two walks in 1 2-3 innings.
"I got those first two outs and I was trying to take a deep breath," Verdugo said. "The game is different up here. It's much quicker.
"I left the ball up a little. I might have been a little too amped up. I was nervous on the drive up here, but it didn't really affect me," Verdugo added. "I just really didn't execute pitches too well. I just left a few pitches up and they took advantage. I know I still have to go out and execute."
Tim Wilhelmsen worked a spotless ninth for his eighth save in 10 opportunities. Wilhelmsen has not allowed a run in 23 innings over his past 19 games.
Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run pinch-hit homer in the seventh off Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley to cut the lead to 9-6.
Jarrod Dyson and Alex Gordon hit back-to-back triples in Kansas City's three-run third.
The Royals have lost 12 of 15 to fall a season-low 13 games below .500. They are 15-27 at Kauffman Stadium, the worst home record in the majors.
NOTES: Mariners LHP Charlie Furbush retired the only batter he faced in the
seventh, but left with left triceps tightness. "I don't think it's anything serious," Wedge said. "We didn't want to push it. "...The Royals designated for assignment LHP Jonathan Sanchez , who was 1-6 with a 7.76 ERA, and optioned OF Jason Bourgeois to Triple-A Omaha. .The Mariners optioned RHP Steve Delabar , who was 2-1 with a 4.18 ERA in 30 relief appearances, to Triple-A Tacoma. . LHP
Bruce Chen , who is 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA and his lone big league save in 11 career
outings against the Mariners, will start Wednesday for the Royals. Chen's former
Braves teammate, RHP Kevin Millwood , will start for Seattle.