Mariners 7, Royals 4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Long after his baseball career is done, Jarrod Washburn will look back fondly on Kauffman Stadium.
The 32-year-old left-hander hiked his record in Kansas City’s fountain-themed park to 5-1 on Sunday, giving up four hits and three runs in seven innings and leading Seattle to a 7-4 victory and three-game sweep of the Royals.
At Kauffman, where he got the win in his major league debut in 1998, Washburn is 5-1 with a 2.83 ERA.
“I do love this park,” he said. “I think it’s a beautiful place for baseball. The fans—there doesn’t ever seem to be too many of them—but the ones that are here are loud and in the game and good fans. It’s always going to be a little special to me because it’s where I started.”
Jose Vidro and Raul Ibanez drove in two runs apiece for the hot-hitting Mariners, who have won five of six after losing five of six and notched their first three-game road sweep in almost a year. In their last 11 games, the Mariners are batting .324.
In their last four, the Mariners are hitting a blistering .369.
“We’re swinging the bats real well right now,” manager Mike Hargrove said. “We’ve seemed to turn that around. And we’re getting good starting pitching, which has really helped our bullpen. And our bullpen’s coming through. It’s the best of both worlds right now. We’ve just got to keep it going.”
A few days ago the Royals thought they had something going. But after winning eight of 10 and igniting hope of a turnaround, they’ve lost four straight by a combined score of 36-10. The Mariners outscored them in the three-game sweep 26-7.
“The last four games, it sounds like we’re talking about the same game,” said manager Buddy Bell. “Not enough pitching. Not enough offense. That’s a bad combination when you’re playing against Seattle.”
Washburn took a one-hit shutout and 6-0 lead into the sixth, but following a 22-minute rain delay gave up two runs, one on a wild pitch. He struck out four and walked one.
J.J. Putz came on with two on and no out in the ninth and got three outs for his 12th save in as many chances.
Vidro’s single drove in two runs in the third after the Mariners loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Ibanez’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
Perez gave up nine hits and six runs in 5 2-3 innings, with three walks and two strikeouts. The left-hander has three losses and three no-decisions in his last six starts.
The loss doomed the Royals to their 22nd consecutive sub-.500 month. They have not had a winning month since July 2003, when they were 15-11. … It was the first time this year the Mariners had both a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly in a game. … Suzuki’s 20-game streak is three short of his career-best. … The Mariners are 5-1 against the Royals this year and will win the season series for the eighth year in a row.