Mariners 11, Royals 8

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Adrian Beltre is finding success by being selective.

Beltre had three hits and five RBIs as the Seattle Mariners rallied from a six-run deficit and beat the Kansas City Royals 11-8 Friday night.

“The last two or three days I’ve been swinging a lot better,” Beltre said. “It’s more or less swinging at strikes. Everybody knows that I can get a little wild at times. Swinging only at pitches over the plate can make anybody a better hitter.”

Seattle starter Francisco Cruceta gave up Ryan Shealy’s first career grand slam, and the Mariners trailed 6-0 after two innings.

But Beltre started the comeback with a two-run single in the third off Luke Hudson. Beltre hit an RBI double in the fifth and scored on Kenji Johjima’s double, then tied the score 7-7 with a two-run homer in the seventh off Ryan Braun (0-1).

“Adrian swung the bat well today,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “Really in the last couple of days he’s swung the bat well. His stroke is shorter, and he’s been more consistent. He hit the ball hard tonight.”

One out after Beltre’s homer, Raul Ibanez walked. Richie Sexson followed with a go-ahead double against Ambiorix Burgos.

“After a 6-0 lead,” Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said, and then shook his head. “Their guy (Jake) Woods did a pretty good job of shutting everything down for a while.”

Hargrove was pleased with the effort it took to come back.

“The only good thing about getting behind by six runs that early is that it’s early,” Hargrove said. “You’ve got a lot of at bats to try to make up ground. Every inning you try to score one run. That’s our goal. AB (Beltre) got that big two-out soft liner that (Mark) Grudzielanek couldn’t handle and broke the ice for us.”

A run-scoring throwing error by shortstop Andres Blanco made it 9-7 in the eighth, and T.J. Bohn hit his first major league homer in a the ninth, a two-run drive off Scott Dohmann. Shane Costa had an RBI single in the bottom half off J.J. Putz.

Woods (5-3) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings for relief. Seattle topped last year’s victory total and reached 70 wins for the first time since the Mariners won 93 in 2003.

“Jake was outstanding,” Hargrove said. “Cruceta didn’t have command of any of his pitches, and it didn’t look like he was going to get any better.”

Shealy’s slam—Kansas City’s first since Mark Teahen’s against Cleveland on Sept. 22 last year—and Joey Gathright’s sacrifice fly put the Royals ahead 5-0 in the first, and Esteban German hit an RBI double in the second off Woods.


German had three hits for the second straight night. He has 11 hits in his last 18 at bats. … Suzuki had his 62nd multihit game of the season. … After doubling in the fifth, Kansas City C John Buck left the game with tightness in his left hamstring.

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