Kansas City (60-84) at Seattle (59-83)

Cloudy Currently: Seattle, WA
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Thu Sep 8, 2011
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The Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners are winding down disappointing seasons. They both escaped embarrassment in their most recent games.

Kansas City and Seattle kick off a four-game set Thursday night at Safeco Field, one day after both teams avoided no-hit bids.

The Royals (60-84) head to the Pacific Northwest after nearly getting no-hit by Oakland’s Guillermo Moscoso(notes) in Thursday’s 7-0 loss. Rookie Salvador Perez(notes) singled with two outs in the eighth inning and Alex Gordon(notes) added a base hit in the ninth.

“At the end of the day, we took two out of three and we didn’t get no-hit. It’s time to get out of town,” said Jeff Francoeur(notes), who’s 7 for 15 in his last four games against Seattle, all in Kansas City.

Rookie Trayvon Robinson’s(notes) home run in the sixth inning Wednesday was the only hit Seattle (59-83) could muster in a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

The Mariners, who have dropped six of seven, are hitting a major-league worst .234. The Royals have the second-highest ERA in the big leagues at 4.55, but are 5-2 in their last seven games at Safeco Field.

Luke Hochevar(notes) (10-10, 4.76 ERA) will pitch for Kansas City in Seattle for the first time.

The right-hander’s best outing of the season came April 15 against the Mariners. He allowed one run and one hit with two walks in seven innings of the Royals’ 6-5 victory.

Hochevar, who’s 3-5 on the road, will try to tie a career high by winning a third straight start. After defeating Detroit on Aug. 29, he gave up an unearned run and three hits with a season-high eight strikeouts in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Cleveland.

Looking for his second win in 12 starts will be the Mariners’ Jason Vargas(notes) (7-13, 4.59).

Starting with complete-game loss to Oakland on July 6, the left-hander is 1-8 with a 6.49 ERA in his last 11 starts. He’s given up at least five runs seven times over that span, including Friday’s 9-2 loss to the Athletics.

Vargas has given up 22 earned runs over his last 21 2-3 innings.

“The fact of the matter is I haven’t been very good,” he said. “The season’s kind of winding down and I got to figure it out pretty quick.”

Vargas is 1-1 all-time against the Royals, having surrendered nine runs and 13 hits in 13 innings.

Kansas City’s Billy Butler(notes) is 4 for 5 with a home run against Vargas.

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Starting Pitchers

L. Hochevar KC vs. J. Vargas KC
11-11 Record 10-13
4.68 ERA 4.25
128 K 131
62 BB 59
1.28 WHIP 1.31


Thursday, Sep 8