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Mariners 3, Royals 1

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley hit home runs, while Seattle starter Chris Young won the size-vs.-speed pitching matchup in the Seattle Mariners' 3-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.

The 6-foot-10 Young (3-0) earned his third consecutive win while out-dueling Kansas City's heat-throwing phenom, 22-year-old Yordano Ventura. The Royals right-hander touched 100 miles per hour on the radar gun once but also served up both home runs.

First baseman Smoak's two run-homer in the fourth inning gave Seattle a 2-1 lead, then left fielder Ackley added a solo shot in the sixth.

Young allowed just one run off three hits without issuing a walk over eight innings of work. He didn't allow a runner past first base after the third inning.

Since being saddled with no-decisions in each of his first four starts with the Mariners this season, the 34-year-old Young has gone 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his past three starts.

Closer Fernando Rodney finished off the game with a scoreless ninth to earn his 11th save of the season.

Kansas City (17-19) managed only four hits on a night when Ventura was solid but unspectacular. Ventura (2-2) gave up three earned runs off six hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked four, the final one coming on a four-pitch at-bat that chased Ventura from the game with one out in the seventh.

Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano had a pair of hits, while rookie center fielder James Jones made his debut in the leadoff role and went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks for the Mariners (19-17).

Cano was also involved in one of the game's most controversial plays when he slid into second base on what was initially ruled a wild pitch in the seventh inning. Kansas City manager Ned Yost challenged the call, and replays showed that Kansas City second baseman Johnny Giavotella's foot had blocked Cano's foot from touching the base -- resulting in an overturned call and an inning-ending out.

One day after piling up 16 hits without a single one going for extra bases, the Royals got their first extra-base hit on a triple in Saturday's third inning. Mike Moustakas hit a drive down the right field line, resulting in a one-out triple after Mariners right fielder Michael Saunders made an awkward sliding attempt to corral the ball. Moustakas, a third baseman, scored on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Alcides Escobar to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.

Saunders finished the inning but didn't return for the fourth, his day cut short by a hyper-extended left knee. Stefen Romero came on to replace Saunders, who is listed as day-to-day.

Smoak gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, his fifth home run of the season.

NOTES: Home plate umpire Scott Barry came out of the game after the third inning with an injury to his right hand. First base umpire Jeff Nelson replaced Barry, who went into the Seattle clubhouse with a Mariners trainer. ... Seattle 3B Kyle Seager (flu) was not in the lineup for the second day in a row Saturday. ... Heading into Saturday's game, the Mariners' bullpen had a streak of 14 consecutive innings without allowing a run. ... Kansas City was without 2B Omar Infante (back) for the fifth game in a row. ... The Royals named LHP Danny Duffy as the probable starter for next Saturday's game against Baltimore. The decision means LHP Bruce Chen will likely need more time to rest his ailing back. ... The Mariners gave rookie CF James Jones his first start in the leadoff spot Saturday. ... Seattle 2B Robinson Cano extended his streak of reaching base to 19 consecutive games with his first-inning single.
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