J.P. Crawford homered on the first pitch in the bottom of the first inning and the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Kansas City Royals 7-5 on Friday to pull into a tie for first place in the American League West.
The Mariners won for the ninth time in their past 10 games to move past the Houston Astros and climb level with the Texas Rangers in the division race.
Kyle Isbel homered for the Royals, who lost for the fifth time in six games.
Reliever Isaiah Campbell (4-0) got the victory and Andres Munoz escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his ninth save of the season, striking out pinch hitter Freddy Fermin to end it.
The Mariners took a 2-0 lead in the first. After Crawford took Royals right-hander Brady Singer (8-10) deep to right field, Julio Rodriguez reached on an infield single, stole second and scored on Cal Raleigh’s one-out single to left.
The Royals answered in the second against Seattle rookie Bryce Miller.
Salvador Perez led off with a single and MJ Melendez followed with a double to send Perez to third. Nelson Velazquez singled to right to plate Perez and send Melendez to third. With one out, an errant pickoff attempt by Miller allowed the tying run to score, and Isbel lined a single to left to give the Royals a 3-2 lead.
Seattle regained the lead in the fourth. Dominic Canzone led off with a single to right and took second on a wild pitch. Crawford drew a two-out walk and Rodriguez reached on an infield single to load the bases. Eugenio Suarez lined a two-run single to left to make it 4-3.
The Mariners tacked on two more runs in the fifth against reliever Austin Cox. Teoscar Hernandez led off with a double to left and took third on Canzone’s one-out single. With two outs, Hernandez scored and Canzone advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Josh Rojas lined a single to extend the lead to 6-3.
The Royals pulled within a run by scoring twice in the seventh. Matt Beaty lined a leadoff single to center off reliever Matt Brash, and an out later, Isbel went deep to right.
The Mariners got an insurance run in the eighth as Crawford led off with a single and scored on Suarez’s one-out double into the gap in left-center.
Both starting pitchers went four innings, walked one and struck out six. Singer allowed four runs on nine hits, while Miller gave up three runs on six hits.
—Field Level Media
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