SEATTLE (AP) — Wade Miley downplayed his first career shutout, but his Mariners teammates were a bit more effusive.
Miley scattered five hits and Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run first inning off an ineffective Yordano Ventura and pace the Seattle Mariners to a 6-0 victory over Kansas City on Saturday night, the Royals’ fifth consecutive loss on their current road trip.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
“Wade was special,” Seager said. “That was pretty good. His tempo’s always great. He was attacking hitters, he got so many first-pitch strikes. He was going right at guys. He got a lot of pretty weak ground balls, a lot of weak pop ups. He was on point tonight.”
Miley (2-2) struck out four and walked none for his second complete game in 139 starts. His only other complete game was last September with Boston in a 9-2 victory over Philadelphia, when he allowed two runs and five hits.
“It’s a cool achievement, but in five days I’ve got to do it again,” Miley said. “I mean it is cool, but that’s what we try to do as pitchers every night. You just try to go out and gets out and fortunately we were able to get 27 tonight.”
Seth Smith, whose homer accounted for the Mariners’ only hit in a 1-0 victory Friday night, homered in the first inning, a one-out solo shot, his fourth.
The Mariners capitalized on two walks in the first off Ventura (2-1), who allowed five runs, three hits with six walks in four-plus innings.
With two outs in the first, Ventura walked Nelson Cruz and Adam Lind, and Seager followed with his fifth homer to make it 4-0.
“I didn’t have very good command all game,” Ventura said through a translator. “I was looking for command of my pitches, but it was off and on. I struggled with it.”
Miley benefited from a successful challenge in the third. Paulo Orlando was safe at second when shortstop Ketel Marte bobbled Alcides Escobar’s one-out infield chopper while trying for the force out. The call was overturned after review and Mike Moustakas followed with a ground-rule double to left-center, holding Escobar at third. Miley escaped by retiring Lorenzo Cain on a pop out to short.
“Marte made a good play,” Miley said. “I don’t think we were going to turn two anyway. Escobar runs well. I wasn’t sure when they first called him safe, but after I saw the replay, it was pretty clear. I just tried to make some pitches and get out of it.”
Seattle took a page out of the Royals’ offensive play book and manufactured a run in the fourth. Seager walked to open the inning, Chris Iannetta singled and both runners advanced on Marte’s sacrifice bunt. Second baseman Omar Infante then attempted a difficult throw home on Leonys Martin’s chopper, but Seager slid in ahead of the tag.READ MORE: 'This Is Not Just Any Usual Recovery': Economist Explains Rash Of Price Hikes, Product Shortages
The Mariners made it 6-0 in the sixth when Dillon Gee hit Cruz with a pitch with the bases loaded. Cruz was also hit by a pitch in the second inning and walked twice.
“It’s always helpful when you get a little run support early,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “You can challenge guys a little bit more but he (Miley) was on his game all night. I thought the change-up was really good, I thought he attacked their left-handed hitters well.”
With the consecutive shutouts, the Royals have scored just seven runs in their five losses on this trip and are hitting just .114 (4-for-35) with runners in scoring position.
“I’ve been through this a hundred times,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “You just keep fighting to get out of it. You know our energy is good, the guys are fighting in the dugout, they’re engaged. We’ve been through it. You fight through it.”
HOSMER HITTING STREAK ENDS: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer went 0-for-4, snapping his 18-game hitting streak, which was the longest in the majors this season.
CRUZ GETS ON: The Mariners slugger was hit twice by pitches in the same game for the first time. Combined with walking twice, it was the first time he reached base four times in one game without a hit and without reaching on an error.
A SERIES OF VICTORIES: The Mariners, who have gone 11-4 after a 2-6 start, clinched their fifth consecutive winning series for the first time since May and June of 2011, when they won six series in a row.
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (2-2, 2.77 ERA) allowed five runs and seven hits in a 6-1 loss to the Angels in his last start to open the current winless road trip. He was 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA in two starts last season against the Mariners when he was with San Diego.
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