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Kansas City Royals’ late rally falls short in series finale at Seattle Mariners

The Kansas City Royals had a few chances to get something going against the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon.

But their inability to deliver in clutch moments cost them dearly in a 4-2 loss at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

The Royals were in position to strike all afternoon. In the sixth inning, KC had the bases loaded with none away. The middle of the lineup was due up against Mariners starting pitcher Bryan Woo.

The 24-year-old right-hander was making his second start after spending time on the injured list earlier this year. And he was cruising.

Woo had limited the Royals to one hit through five innings. But suddenly he ran into trouble and was forced to contend with Royals star Bobby Witt Jr.

Witt hit a sacrifice fly to finally get the Royals on the board. But the next two KC batters went down in order.

A very similar situation occurred in the eighth inning. Witt recorded an RBI groundout with two men on and one away.

That would be the Royals’ final run of the day. First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino struck out against Mariners closer Andres Munoz.

The Royals (26-19) had one more chance in the ninth inning. Captain Salvador Perez doubled down the left-field line and Hunter Renfroe reached on a fielding error two batters later.

That brought MJ Melendez, and then Freddy Fermin, to the plate. Munoz struck out both to end the game.

Woo earned his first victory of the season and Royals starter Alec Marsh took the loss. Marsh (3-1) pitched five innings and allowed two runs. He struck out seven in his ninth start of 2024.

Ty France powered the Seattle offense with a solo home run in the fourth inning. Luke Raley, a thorn in KC’s side all series, added an RBI single.

Missed previous games of the series?

Game 1: Royals fall 6-2 in series opener against Mariners

Game 2: Nelson Velázquez propels Royals to 4-2 victory in Seattle

Here are more notable aspects of Wednesday afternoon’s game:

Royals strand 2 in 6th inning

One of the Royals’ most favorable scoring opportunities surfaced in the sixth inning.

Fermin, Wednesday’s catcher, led off with a single. Kyle Isbel and Adam Frazier also got aboard, loading the bases.

This flipped over the lineup card, meaning Seattle would contend with young superstar Witt in a pivotal spot. Witt worked a six-pitch at-bat against Woo, finishing the plate appearance with a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run game.

The Mariners then turned to Speier, who retired Pasquantino and Perez in order. Perez struck out on a 79.4 mph slider as the Royals stranded the potential game-tying run.

Home plate umpire Jim Wolf leaves game

There was a delay during the fifth inning as home plate umpire Jim Wolf exited after being struck in the face mask by a foul ball.

Wolf was evaluated by the Mariners’ training staff before leaving the game for precautionary reasons. First base umpire Ryan Blakney moved behind the plate for the remainder of the afternoon.

Sean Barber slid over to first base and the game was completed with a three-man crew following the 13-minute pause.

What’s next on the KC Royals’ schedule?

The Royals are off Thursday before beginning a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium.

Royals left-hander Cole Ragans will be KC’s starting pitcher Friday night. Ragans (2-3) owns a 4.22 ERA in nine starts this season. The Athletics have not announced a starter for the series opener.

The Royals will be honoring their 2014 AL championship team all weekend, starting with a ceremony before Friday night’s game. The club asks fans to be in their seats by 5:45 p.m.