On a day the Kansas City Royals were out-homered, and Billy Butler hit an infield single, it made sense that the unlikeliest of power hitters would propel the Royals past the Seattle Mariners, 9-7, on Mother’s Day.
Louis Coleman (1-0, 5.73) got the win in relief of Jeremy Guthrie. Danny Farquhar (1-1, 3.20) took the loss.
Guthrie lasted only 4.2 innings, surrendering three home runs en route to giving up 8 hits and seven runs. By the time Kelvin Herrera closed out the fifth for him, Guthrie was left a spectator with Seattle leading 7-5. It was quite a collapse by the Royals, or turnaround by the Mariners, depending on your point of view.
The Royals took a 4-0 lead in the second on Alcides Escobar‘s first career grand slam. The Royals loaded the bases on back-back singles by Danny Valencia and Alex Gordon. With runners on first and second, Lorenzo Cain hit what should have been a double play grounder to third baseman Kyle Seager, who committed an error, which loaded the bases. After Johnny Giavotella struck out, Escobar drove the first pitch from Roenis Elias over the left field wall, giving him 15 runs batted in on the season.
But Guthrie couldn’t hold the lead. In the third, he gave up a lead off home run to Dustin Ackley. After hitting Stefen Romero with a pitch, Guthrie gave up a single to Mike Zunino. Brad Miller plated both with double to right to make it 4-3.
The Royals got one back in the fourth. Escobar singled after Giavotella opened the inning with a walk. Giavotella advanced to third on a throwing error and scored when Justin Smoak couldn’t handle a grounder from Nori Aoki, giving the Royals a 5-3 lead.
But Guthrie gave it right back in the bottom of the frame. Smoak singled with one out and Seager followed with a home run to tie the game 5-5, and Ackley followed with a solo shot to give the Mariners a 6-5 lead.
When the Mariners tacked on another run in the fifth to make it 7-5, it looked like the Royals would need some sort of magic.
In the seventh, Eric Hosmer led off with a ground rule double. After Butler struck out, Valencia walked, followed by a walk by Alex Gordon to load the bases. Lorenzo Cain hit a sacrifice fly to bring the Royals within one, 7-6.
That’s when Giavotella atoned for his earlier bases-loaded strikeout, sending the first offering form Danny Farquhar over the left field wall for 3-run home run, and a 9-7 lead the Royals would not relinquish.
Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
NOTABLES: Wade Davis pitched a scoreless eighth inning and struck out two. He has struck out 30 in 16.1 innings of work and owns a 2.20 earned run average.
The Royals finished the road trip 4-3.
Eric Hosmer has hit .372 with one home run, and nine RBIs over his past 10 games to raise his average to .320.
Alex Gordon has hit safely in five out his last six games, including two games in which he collected three hits.
Aaron Crow threw another scoreless inning. In 14 innings, he has given up eight hits and still owns a 0.00 ERA.
The Royals have only played 15 of their 37 games at home, and are 18-19 on the year, 8-7 at home.
NEXT: Franklin Morales (3-2, 5.18) vs. James Shields (4-3, 2.70) in a 7:10 start at Kaufman Stadium as the Colorado Rockies come to town for a three game series, the beginning of a nine-game homestead.
DON’T BET ON IT: The Royals will make a roster move Monday or Tuesday to bring up a pitcher. Will they release Justin Maxwell, who is the odd-man out in the outfield corps? Will they place Omar Infante on the disabled list and leave everyone else in place? Or will they move Mike Moustakas to Omaha, especially given the vote of confidence placed today in putting Valencia in the clean up spot. Stay tuned for the first real decision from Dayton, et al this year.