KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Buddy Bell’s 100th victory as Kansas City’s manager kept the Royals from getting closer to another triple-digit milestone—one they don’t want to reach.
By beating the Seattle Mariners 10-8 on Thursday night, the Royals guaranteed themselves a better finish than their 56-106 record in 2005. If they win six of their remaining 15 games, they will avoid becoming the first non-expansion team to lose 100 games in three straight years since the 1952-54 Pittsburgh Pirates.
“It was a good night, especially the way it started,” said Bell, whose team trailed 3-0 after two innings. “It could have gotten out of control early, but it didn’t.”
The last franchise with triple-digit losses for three straight years was Toronto in 1977-79.
Shealy hit a two-run homer in the third inning off starter Jarrod Washburn (8-14). Then, after Emiliano Fruto replaced Washburn with two on and one out in the fifth, Shealy drove the first pitch over the left field fence to cap a four-run inning and put the Royals up 7-5. It was the first multihomer game of his career.
“I’m working hard every day,” said Shealy, who had been stuck behind Colorado first baseman Todd Helton before the Royals acquired him in a July 31 trade. “It’s not easy to come to the big leagues right away and immediately show power. I’ve been battling hard since I got here, and hopefully we’ll see more games like tonight.”
Royals starter Odalis Perez (2-3) came out after giving up Kenji Johjima’s single to lead off the sixth inning. Two walks by Scott Dohmann, including an intentional pass to Suzuki, loaded the bases with one out.
Beltre’s single scored Johjima, but Suzuki overran second and Jose Lopez was thrown out at the plate trying to convert the ensuing rundown into a run. Dohmann then struck out Yuniesky Betancourt to end the inning.
“Those are basic mistakes that, no, we don’t accept that,” manager Mike Hargrove said. “We’ll talk to him and you know, he knows he made a mistake.”
Third base coach Carlos Garcia said he put up the stop sign. Suzuki said he thought he and Lopez were being waved on.
“Initially, I wasn’t planning to go to third,” he said through a translator. “But I saw it, and I turned on the switch to go to third.”
The Royals added three insurance runs in the eighth for a 10-6 lead on Angel Berroa’s successful squeeze bunt and German’s two-run triple. Beltre homered off Joe Nelson to lead off the ninth and Ben Broussard added an RBI single to make it 10-8.
Perez gave up six runs and 10 hits—eight of those in the first two innings. But after yielding Suzuki’s two-run homer that put the Mariners up 5-3, he retired the next five batters before Johjima’s hit.
“He threw well, except for a couple of crucial pitches to some big hitters,” catcher John Buck said. “For him to keep us in the ball game and to have the offense pick him up for once—we owed him one, because he’s been carrying us quite a bit in close games.”
Washburn had a 1.49 ERA, best in the majors among active pitchers with at least six starts, and a 4-0 record in six previous career starts in Kauffman Stadium. It went up to 2.66 after Thursday night’s outing, in which he gave up six runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Seattle went up 1-0 in the first on Richie Sexson’s RBI single, then added two more runs in the second on Suzuki’s RBI infield single and Beltre’s sacrifice fly.
Kansas City tied it with a three-run third, capped by Shealy’s two-run homer to center.
The Royals could have had one more run in the third, but German was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on Mark Grudzielanek’s one-out double. Emil Brown followed with a single, scoring Grudzielanek.
In the Royals’ fifth, Shealy’s second homer followed an RBI double by German.
Seattle first base coach Michael Goff filled in at bench coach Thursday night for Ron Hassey, who stepped down Wednesday after being told that his contract would not be renewed. Goff has not been designated the interim bench coach, manager Mike Hargrove said. Double-A manager Daren Brown coached at first for the Mariners. … The Royals’ attendance of 8,839 was their lowest this season.