KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kyle Seager gave the Seattle Mariners a chance with his bat. Then he let it slip away with his legs.
Seager hit his 18th home run, but got picked off first base by Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez in the eighth inning Saturday in a 5-3 loss to the Royals.
Seager connected for a three-run homer in the fourth. His one-out single in the eighth put runners at the corners.
That’s when Perez trapped him.
“You can’t get picked off in that situation, but he’s pretty special back there. But, I obviously got off too far,” Seager said.
The pickoff was Perez’s first of the season and 18th of his career for the reigning World Series MVP.
Perez hit a solo home run off the foul pole in the seventh inning that gave the Royals a two-run lead.
“Yeah, you could say he’s got our number this series,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We’ve left some breaking balls up to him and he’s hit them. It’s what he does.”
“He’s a good player and we haven’t made our pitches, either. We haven’t executed there. We haven’t been getting our ball in spots and when you do that he’s going to burn you. He’s a good hitter.”
Perez credited first baseman Eric Hosmer with the clutch play.
“That was Hosmer. He gives me a sign and I throw the ball right to him. I think he knows more than me.”
In turn, the All-Star first basemen praised the catcher.
“That’s all him,” Hosmer said. “Just knowing he’s behind the plate, you’ve got to stay close to the bag at all times because he’s so quick back there.”
“The pitch takes him that way and he just throws it right back over there, just an unbelievable play and that’s why Salvy’s the best. He changes the game, just completely took all the momentum away from them right there. First and third with one of their big hitters up, it was a huge play,” he said.
Edinson Volquez (8-8) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings.
Kelvin Herrera pitched a perfect ninth for his first save since April 10, 2013.
Wade Miley (6-6) gave up 10 hits. He left after Cheslor Cuthbert’s RBI single made it 4-3 in the sixth.
Cuthbert also doubled and finished with two RBIs.
Nelson Cruz had two hits for Seattle.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas threw a simulated game and manager Ned Yost was encouraged by the progress he showed. “Looked good, really good,” he said. “Three pitches, good changeup, fastball with life. Good breaking ball, good first step.” Yost anticipates Vargas could make a return in September.
In Sunday’s finale, former Royals draftee LHP Mike Montgomery (2-3) will get the start for the Mariners against RHP Dillion Gee (3-2). Montgomery was selected in the first round in 2008 and was part of the December 2012 trade with Tampa Bay that brought pitchers Wade Davis and James Shields to Kansas City. “Probably cool for Mike,” Servais said. “I know he was drafted by the Royals, was a high prospect there. The anxiety of going back and pitching against your friends, your teammates, your former teammates, but he’s been away long enough now, I hope that it’s kind of gone away and I’m sure he’ll give us a good effort.”
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