Whit Merrifield hit two homers and drove in six runs and Homer Bailey pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings as the Kansas City Royals defeated the host Seattle Mariners 9-0 Tuesday night.
Jorge Soler also homered and rookie Nicky Lopez went 3 for 4 with a double and two runs for Kansas City, which has won the first two games of the series and will go for a sweep Wednesday afternoon.
Bailey (6-6), a right-hander, allowed five hits, walked two and struck out six. It was his second consecutive start in which he didn’t allow any runs, as he pitched six scoreless innings in a 7-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers last Thursday in Omaha, Neb.
Mariners rookie left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (3-5) allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings, with two walks and five strikeouts. Kikuchi suffered his fourth loss in his past five starts.
Entering Tuesday’s game, Mariners catchers Omar Narvaez and Tom Murphy were batting .287 with 18 home runs, 44 RBIs, a .350 on-base percentage and a .513 slugging percentage (.863 on-base plus slugging). Among major league teams at catcher, the M’s ranked first in hits, tied for second in home runs, third in batting average, third in runs, fourth in slugging, fourth in OPS, ffith in OBP, tied for fifth in extra-base hits and sixth in RBIs.
By the numbers
13: Number of consecutive games, until Tuesday, in which the Mariners alternated wins and losses, tied for the longest such streak in franchise history (May 1-14, 2018).
Our take from Right Field
So the M’s couldn’t score a run off a pitcher named Homer? At least they avoided – narrowly – allowing 10 or more runs for the 18th time this season.
The M’s wrap up their three-game series against Kansas City at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday at T-Mobile Park. LHP Marco Gonzales (7-6, 4.50 ERA) is scheduled to start against Royals RHP Brad Keller (3-8, 3.97).
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