Domingo Santana hit two home runs with five RBIs and former Gonzaga standout Marco Gonzales pitched 6 2/3 strong innings as the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Kansas City Royals 8-2 Wednesday afternoon.
Daniel Vogelbach also homered for Seattle, which salvaged the finale of the three-game series. The Royals had their three-game winning streak snapped, which matched a season high.
Gonzales (8-6), a left-hander, won his third straight start after dropping six consecutive decisions. He allowed two runs on six hits, with one walk and five strikeouts.
Royals right-hander Brad Keller (3-9) lasted a season-low four innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out five.
The Mariners jumped on Keller early, scoring four runs in the first inning before making an out.
Mallex Smith led off with a double to right field and J.P. Crawford drew a walk. Santana hit the next pitch over the wall in left-center field for a three-run homer. Vogelbach followed by hitting a 1-2 pitch just inside the foul pole in right field and off the windows of the Hit it Here Cafe on T-Mobile Park’s second deck.
The Mariners extended the lead to 7-1 with three more runs in the fourth.
Dylan Moore led off by lining a single to left and Smith was hit by a pitch. J.P. Crawford lined a single to right, scoring Moore and sending Smith to third. Santana followed with a line-drive single to center to plate Smith. Vogelbach’s sacrifice fly to center brought home the final run of the inning.
Santana hit a solo shot to right-center field off Royals left-hander Brian Flynn with two outs in the sixth to make it 8-1. It was Santana’s 15th home run of the season.
An MRI Wednesday showed no additional damage to RHP Felix Hernandez’s ailing right shoulder. Hernandez had to leave early in his first rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma last week. “It was just a shoulder fatigue-type situation,” M’s manager Scott Servais said. … Closer Hunter Strickland, who was eligible to come off the 60-day injured list Wednesday, suffered a setback while trying to throw batting practice last week and had to have a pocket of fluid drained from the area surrounding his straight right lat muscle. Strickland told MLB.com he plans to do some light throwing Friday.
By the numbers
7-0: Gonzales’ record when receiving six or more runs of support. He’s 1-6 with three no-decisions when the offense provides three or fewer runs.
Our take from Right Field
Gonzales seems to be back on track, allowing five earned runs in 19 1/3 innings over his past three starts. After losing two of three to the Royals, the M’s face another last-place team as the Baltimore Orioles come to town.
The M’s open a four-game series against Baltimore at 7:10 p.m. Thursday at T-Mobile Park. LHP Wade LeBlanc (3-2, 6.20 ERA) is scheduled to be primary pitcher for the M’s after an opener, while the Orioles plan to start RHP Dylan Bundy (3-8, 4.44).
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