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Royals walk off on Moustakas' 13th-inning homer

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Greg Holland had been automatic, converting 31 consecutive save situations since his last blown save on May 6.

Holland, however, yielded a two-out, two-strike, pinch home run to Raul Ibanez in the ninth inning to tie Thursday's game.

This time the Royals rescued their closer. Mike Moustakas led off the 13th inning with a home run on an 0-2 pitch, and Kansas City escaped with a 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Moustakas hit one out foul down the right field line before parking Chance Ruffin's next pitch fair for his first career walk-off homer.

"That's something really different for us," Moustakas said. "Holly usually comes in the game and it is lights out. We were able to pick him up for once today, and it was nice."

Ruffin (0-1) retired the first four batters he faced before giving up the game-winning home run on an 0-2 pitch.

"I love to be in tie games," said Ruffin, the sixth Mariners pitcher of the game. "I've been comfortable with tie games since college. I just made a mistake.

"I was trying to get the fastball down and in. He turned on it pretty good. The one he hit out was supposed to be in. I left it in the middle."

Mariners manager Eric Wedge loves having Ibanez at the plate in tie games late.

"He likes being up there in those situations," Wedge said. "Anytime one swing of the bat alters the course of the game, you like him up there."

Holland entered in the ninth with a 6-5 lead and retired the first two batters before Ibanez pinch-hit for Henry Blanco.

"I got up 1-2 and I thought I could get Ibanez to swing and miss at something out of the zone," Holland said. "I worked the count back to 3-2 and made a bad pitch. I felt like that was the only bad pitch I threw the whole inning. That happens sometime.

"The game is tied up all of a sudden and you would expect a lot of teams to deflate, and we didn't bat an eye. It was really exciting to see us come back and win that game. Our bullpen shut it down and Moose got the big hit."

Billy Butler went 5-for-5, his third career hit five-hit game and his second this season as the Royals rallied from a 5-0 deficit.

"It wasn't early when we were down by five," Butler said. "It's not easy to come back from that. That's a major league team over there."

But the Royals found a way to win.

"Anytime you can get to the ninth inning with your closer out there and the lead and they tie the game, you better pretty darn well find a way to win the game, especially as good as Holly's been," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We were down 5-0 and battled back and took the lead, and then it took four or five more innings, but finally Moose's big blow won it for us."

The Royals, who took three of four from the Mariners, play their next 15 games against the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers, clubs they are trying to catch in the American League Central and/or wild-card standings.

"They're all playoff-caliber teams with winning records," Butler said. "We had to fight hard to win this series, and the teams we're playing (next) are better than the team we just played, at least record-wise. They're all must wins. We're treating it like it's the last game of the year every day."

Louis Coleman (3-0) retired the only batter he faced to claim the victory.

The Royals stroked 19 hits, matching their season high. Emilio Bonifacio had four hits. His previous four-hit game was with the Marlins on July 4, 2009, against the Pirates.

Alex Gordon's team-leading 17th home run in a three-run fifth started Kansas City's comeback.

Butler drove in Eric Hosmer, who had doubled, with the tying run in the seventh with his fourth single. Butler scored on Justin Maxwell's sacrifice fly, making it 6-5, a lead Holland could not preserve.

Salvador Perez went 3-for-3 for the Royals, and Hosmer and Gordon each had two hits. Perez was struck in the catcher's mask by a foul ball in the top of the fifth, and he singled in the bottom of the inning before being removed from the game. He is day-to-day.

Kyle Seager, Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley -- the Mariners' No. 3 through 6 hitters -- collected two hits apiece. Smoak hit a two-run homer in the first inning.

NOTES: Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez, who was pulled in the seventh inning Monday with cramps in his lower back, has been shifted from a Sunday start to Wednesday. "We're going to be cautious with him," Wedge said. "He's feeling good. We'll see how he feels playing catch. We don't want to take any chances with that." ... Royals 2B Chris Getz remains sidelined due to a possible concussion.
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