The Kansas City Royals’ losing streak is reaching record-setting proportions.
Already saddled with the longest slide in franchise history, the Royals will try to end their 17-game skid in the finale of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
On Tuesday, Yuniesky Betancourt’s go-ahead infield single in the eighth inning handed Kansas City its third one-run loss in four games. The Royals are just four losses shy of tying the all-time American League record, held by the 1988 Baltimore Orioles, who opened the season 0-21.
Matt Stairs got two of Kansas City’s six hits as the Royals fell by one run for the fourth time during the losing streak. They suffered a doubleheader sweep at Detroit on Sunday by scores of 8-7 and 1-0.
For the second straight game, Kansas City bench coach Bob Schaefer filled in for manager Buddy Bell.
Bell had been expected back from Arlington National Cemetery, where he attended services Monday for his nephew, a Marine killed in Iraq. Lance Cpl. Tim Bell Jr. was killed by a roadside bomb this month.
The Royals will have a tall task in trying to beat Seattle left-hander Jamie Moyer in the finale. Moyer is 6-0 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts at Safeco this season.
Ichiro Suzuki had two singles for the Mariners on Tuesday for his 46th multihit game, second-most in the AL. He also stole his 27th base.
Seattle had won back-to-back games since a four-game skid.