SEATTLE -- Kansas City starter Jason Vargas bounced back from rough outings in two consecutive starts Friday night, when he threw seven shutout innings to lead the singles-happy Royals to a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners. Vargas (3-1) allowed just three hits over seven scoreless innings of work, striking out six without issuing a walk. He had allowed 21 hits and 12 runs over his previous two outings. The only offense he got came in the form of singles, but that turned out to be plenty on a night when Kansas City had 16 of them. Eight of the nine players in Kansas City's batting order had hits, with first baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez collecting three apiece and right fielder Nori Aoki, left fielder Alex Gordon and center fielder Lorenzo Cain each adding two. And yet only one of Kansas City's 16 singles drove in a run -- that one coming on an eighth-inning single from Cain on the final pitch Seattle starter Brandon Maurer would throw on the night. Seattle starter Brandon Maurer (1-1) gave up six runs, four earned, off 14 hits in 7 1/3 innings of work -- without a walk or strikeout. All 14 of the hits allowed were singles, and yet the only RBI single he gave up came from Cain on Maurer's final pitch of the game with one out in the eighth. The 14 hits Maurer allowed were one shy of the club record, set by Greg Hibbard 20 years earlier. The Royals (17-18) bounced back from a four-hit shutout the previous night to win for the third time in four games. They built up a 6-0 lead through the top of the eighth inning before a throwing error allowed Seattle's first run of the game to score following a James Jones double into the corner in the bottom of the eighth. Jones' double was the first extra-base hit of the game for either team. The Mariners (18-17) have scored just two runs off seven hits in the first two games of the series. Seven singles and a costly Seattle error helped the Royals take a 4-0 lead through the first four innings. Kansas City, after getting shut out on just four hits by the Mariners on Thursday night, struck quickly Friday with a run in the top of the first inning. Aoki led off the game with a single on Maurer's second pitch. Aoki moved to third on a single by Hosmer, then Aoki scored on a Billy Butler fielder's choice for a 1-0 Royals lead. The run ended a streak of 27 consecutive scoreless innings by the Royals at Seattle's Safeco Field, dating back to last September. Kansas City's Hosmer added an RBI in the third inning before a fourth-inning error on Seattle shortstop Brad Miller -- his fifth in six games -- led to two unearned runs in the top of the fourth. Royals starter Jason Vargas retired the first seven batters he faced before Seattle catcher Mike Zunino got an infield single with one out in the third. NOTES: Before Friday's game, the Royals recalled 2B Johnny Giavotella from Triple-A Omaha. Starter Omar Infante's back issues, which have kept him out of the lineup for three consecutive games, were a factor in the move. ... To make room for Giavotella on the roster, Kansas City optioned RHP Michael Mariot to Omaha. ... Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon got a first-inning call overturned when he made a replay challenge of a play at second base. The replay showed that 2B Robinson Cano had a foot on the bag when he made a diving catch of an errant throw from 3B Willie Bloomquist, resulting in an out instead of the initial call of a Bloomquist throwing error. ... Mariners 3B Kyle Seager (flu) was not in the starting lineup Friday, leaving Bloomquist to start in his place. ... The Royals had just four hits in Thursday night's series opener, and they matched that total by the second inning of Friday's game. By the fourth inning, Kansas City already had seven hits -- although all of them were singles.
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