Royals 3, Mariners 2

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Seeing Ichiro Suzuki get hit in the head with a pitch and knocked to the ground bothered the Seattle Mariners much more than losing a meaningless game.

Suzuki, the majors’ leading hitter, was struck in the right side of his head by a pitch from rookie Jimmy Serrano in the third inning of Kansas City’s 3-2 victory Wednesday night.

The Royals’ team doctor said Suzuki sustained a mild concussion and may not play Thursday. While players and fans maintained a stunned silence, he lay face-down in the batter’s box several minutes.

He finally walked off the field and did not return.

“I’m feeling dizzy. I’m not sure what the correct term is going to be, but I’m just feeling a little dizzy right now,” Suzuki said through his interpreter. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to go tomorrow. I’m going to have to think about that tonight. That’s why I’m not happy.”

The pitch hit him toward the back of the right side of his batting helmet with an impact heard in the upper deck.

“It was an awful sound,” Seattle manager Bob Melvin said. “I’ve heard guys get hit in the helmet before, but that was not a good sound.”

When asked if he might be afraid of getting hit the next time he steps into the batter’s box, Suzuki grinned.

“I’m not going to be scared,” he said. “If you got up there, maybe you would be scared. But I’m not going to be scared.”

Serrano was making his third major league start.

“The pitch got away,” Serrano said. “It’s in the back of my mind the whole game. It’s not something I want to play over and over in my mind. it’s a pretty scary thing.”

John Buck hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning to boost the Royals to their first win in six home games.

Suzuki, batting .366 and with a major league-leading 189 hits, did not lost consciousness but was woozy and disoriented, Melvin said.

“I know he’s certainly not trying to hit him, but it’s missing by a pretty wide margin,” Melvin said.

With the Royals trailing 2-1 in the eighth, Desi Relaford hit a one-out single to right, and Buck sent Ryan Franklin’s first pitch over the left-field wall for his fifth homer.

D.J. Carrasco (2-1) pitched two perfect innings in relief of Serrano for the win.

Franklin (3-12) retired 15 straight in one stretch, but lost his seventh straight decision. He allowed three runs and five hits in eight innings.

Jolbert Cabrera’s two-run homer had given Seattle a 2-1 lead in the seventh as the Mariners sought back-to-back road wins for the first time since mid-June.

Serrano had allowed just two hits until Bucky Jacobsen singled with one out in the seventh. Cabrera then hit a 1-0 pitch into left field which came down on top of the bullpen fence and bounced over for his fourth homer.

Serrano went seven innings and gave up just two runs on five hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. The right-hander also benefited from several standout defensive plays by rookie infielders Andrew Blanco and Ruben Gotay.


The Mariners haven’t won consecutive road games since sweeping Pittsburgh June 18-20. … Royals C Mike Tonis, who is playing for Greece in the Olympics, cleared waivers Wednesday and was outrighted to Double-A Wichita. … With the addition of right-hander Matt Kinney, the Royals have tied their team record with 53 players used. … Seattle has won six of its last seven season series against the Royals. … Kansas City first baseman Mike Sweeney is day to day with stiffness in his lower back. … When Suzuki made an out in his first at-bat, he missed a chance to be just the second man to hit leadoff homers in three straight games.

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