After dropping two games to the lowly Royals—including last night’s 9-0 drubbing—and facing the possibility of a sweep at home today, the Mariners took a good hard look at themselves in the mirror, reminded themselves this is the literal Royals, and pulled a commanding win out of their back baseball pockets. Per Jake and Tim’s series preview, this was the game the Royals had the best chance of winning, backed by staff ace Brad Keller, who is positively allergic to home runs.
The Mariners, however, showed up with their bats and a big box of Allegra. The scoring started early on: Mallex led off the game with a double down the right field line and J.P. Crawford walked, bringing up Domingo Santana. Remember: Marley was dead to begin with, and Keller had given up four home runs all season coming into this game. Otherwise nothing that follows shall seem wondrous.
What, you require more wonder?
That ball bangs off the Hit it Here cafe windows, in case you can’t see. That entire side of the field is going to be dented by the time Vogelbach’s Mariners career is over.
The only time this game was particularly close was in the third inning, when Cheslor Cuthbert doubled, pushing Billy Hamilton to third, who would later come across on an RBI groundout. That made it a 4-1 game, but the Mariners would push the lead back out again in the fourth, with an RBI single from J.P. Crawford followed by an RBI single from Santana. Vogelbach added a sac fly to make the lead 7-1. In the sixth inning, Domingo took a look out at the bullpen and decided to add another run on, just in case.
Meanwhile, Marco held the Royals at bay with his second quality start in a row. He went 6.2 innings, giving up just the one run early on and then another in the seventh right before he was lifted on a single to Jorge Bonifacio and a two-out double to Cam Gallagher, who is apparently a baseball player! Cory Gearrin came in and tidied the mess, and Anthony Bass and Roenis Elias put the Royals to bed. It was a relatively low-stress pitching performance all around; even though there were only six total strikeouts in the game for the M’s pitching staff (and Marco had five of them), and at times the Royals threatened, the Mariners were able to snuff out any uprisings between the pitching staff and the defense, who did not commit any errors in this game. Dylan Moore made only his second career start in left field, and acquitted himself well out there, making a fine running catch early in the game and then a nice grab on a sinking liner late in the game to take a hit away from Alex Gordon.
It’s a bummer this game was on at such a weird time, because it was a good one, and we know how precious those games are this season. Since it was the free game on MLB TV, you can probably find a replay there in case you missed it. Now the Mariners gear up for the worst team in baseball to come in for the weekend in the Orioles, and since they’ve banked a few of these key losses (draft pick!), let’s hope for a few more fun and watchable games this weekend.
(Also: All-Star voting is dumb but nonetheless go VOGEY THE VOTE. This joy deserves to be shared.)