Mariners 7, Royals 5
SEATTLE (AP)—Bret Boone has kept his sense of humor throughout what might be his most agonizing season in the major leagues.
“I only hit one,” Boone said with a grin. “It was nice, though. I haven’t hit many home runs this year. So this was nice.”
The teams combined for nine home runs to match the most ever hit in a game at Safeco Field, which opened July 15, 1999. Cleveland and Seattle accomplished the feat on July 16. The Indians hit eight in an 18-6 win.
In a matchup of the teams with the two worst record in the AL, the Mariners ended a four-game losing streak.
“I’ve said a lot this year. Any win right now is good. Any time a team hits six home runs in a game, it’s pretty rare,” said Boone, who had a career-high 37 homers for Seattle in 2001 when the team tied the big league record with 116 wins and 35 homers last season.
Boone homered on a 2-1 pitch.
“I’m not thinking home run right there,” Boone said. “He left me a good pitch to hit with two strikes. As we know, I’ve missed a lot of them this year.”
Seattle rallied after Abraham Nunez homered in his third straight game in the top of the eighth to put the Royals ahead.
It was Nunez’s fourth homer in 24 games since being acquired in a trade by Kansas City from Florida.
Nunez homered off George Sherrill (2-1), the third Mariners pitcher.
Mariners closer J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his fourth save in eight opportunities.
Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki had two hits, giving him 202 for the season, in his bid to break George Sisler’s single-season record of 257 hits in 1920. The Mariners have 35 games left.
“I’m sure we’ll talk about that every day,” Seattle manager Bob Melvin said of Suzuki’s bid to break Sisler’s record. “Hopefully, the last couple of weeks he’ll be in position where he can do it.”
Olivo had his first career multihomer game when he homered off the 20-year-old right-hander in the sixth to tie the score at 4.
“I hope some day I can get three,” Olivo said.
The Mariners acquired Olivo, their starting catcher, in a trade with the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Freddy Garcia June 27. He’s hit six home runs in 32 games since joining the Mariners and 13 for the season.
“I’ll tell you what, when Olivo gets a hold of one, he’s a strong young man,” Melvin said.
Melvin thinks Olivo has the potential to hit 20-25 homers.
“I think there’s no question that he projects out to be one of those guys,” Melvin said.
The Royals took a 4-0 lead with three runs in the top of the fifth as Alberto Castillo hit a solo homer and David DeJesus had a two-run shot. In the third, DeJesus had a fielder’s choice RBI. DeJesus’ three RBIs were a career high.
Grienke allowed four runs on seven hits, with no walks and three strikeouts.
“They were crushing the ball all day,” Greinke said. “The way they hit it, I’m just glad the score wasn’t like 15 to 5.”
Royals manager Tony Pena said it is hard to hit home runs at Safeco, considered a pitcher’s ballpark.
“Tell me about it,” he said. “It is supposed to be hard when you make the right pitches. We just made too many mistakes today.”
Gil Meche started for Seattle and pitched six innings, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks, with four strikeouts.
Seattle’s team record is seven homers in a game. … The last time Kansas City surrendered three straight homers was June 23, 2000, to Oakland’s Randy Velarde, Jason Giambi and Ben Grieve. … The six home runs given up by the Royals tied their team record.