The Seattle Mariners were unable to get 18 hits and score in double digits for a third straight game. Their resurgent offense, however, didn’t have much of a letdown.
The Mariners look to complete their first three-game sweep this season when they take on the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
After averaging 3.3 runs during a recent nine-game homestand, the Mariners’ slumbering offense appears to have awoken on this 10-game, four-city road trip.
Seattle (24-23) scored 10 total runs in splitting its first two games at Tampa Bay before banging out 18 hits Thursday in a 13-12 loss in the series finale. The Mariners opened this three-game set with another 18-hit performance en route to a 10-2 victory on Friday. It was only the fourth time in franchise history that they had at least 18 hits in back-to-back games.
Sexson stayed in the game after he collided with Kansas City’s Tony Pena Jr. at first base trying to make a putout in the eighth. Pena was safe as he went tumbling over the bag and appeared to catch Sexson in the head.
The 6-foot-8, 235-pound Sexson, teased at getting whacked by the much smaller shortstop, said his calf and his head took the blow.
“It’s OK. I got a little lightheaded when he hit me,” he said. “I just got dizzy. It’s like playing football. You get your bell rung but you’re all right.”
Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 19 games with an infield single in the ninth. He is batting .428 (36-for-84) during the streak. He has also hit safely in 20 consecutive games against the Royals, batting .458 (38-for-83) in that span.
With their fourth win in five games overall, the Mariners improved to 20-6 in their past 26 meetings against Kansas City. Seattle has won the season series each of the past eight years.
Jarrod Washburn (4-4, 3.15 ERA) looks to continue his excellent pitching on the road for Seattle. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 1.74 ERA in three starts away from home, including a strong performance Tuesday in a 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay. He limited the Devil Rays to two first-inning runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings.
Washburn, though, hasn’t pitched well in his last two starts against the Royals, allowing 13 runs and 18 hits in 8 2-3 innings in a pair of losses. He is 6-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 12 career starts versus Kansas City.
The Royals have been outscored 29-6 during a three-game skid which followed a season-best stretch in which they won six of seven. Kansas City starters have an 11.54 ERA during the slide.
It may not be represented in his ERA, but Odalis Perez (2-4, 5.20) has been the Royals’ best starter lately. The veteran left-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts while pitching six innings or more in each of those outings.
Perez went six-plus innings Tuesday against Cleveland, yielding three runs and seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts in Kansas City’s 4-3 victory.
He earned the win in his only career start against Seattle on Sept. 14 despite giving up six runs and 10 hits in five innings.