The Seattle Mariners are suddenly rolling. After sweeping the Kansas City Royals on Sunday by a final score of 7-6, the Mariners are 7-3 over their last 10 games, have won four straight and are only nine games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West. While contention is certainly a long shot -- and the Mariners are still 10 games under .500 -- these past four games are a very positive sign as the post-Ichiro era begins.
The Mariners very nearly let the game slip away due to the potentially-on-his-way-out-of-town Brandon League and Oliver Perez out of the bullpen in the eighth inning, but they managed to hold on for the big win to sweep the Royals out of town.
Mike Carp hit an RBI double in the bottom of the second to get the scoring started, but Alcides Escobar evened things up in the third with a two-out RBI single. An RBI double from Trayvon Robinson and a sacrifice fly from Brendan Ryan in the fourth put Seattle back on top 3-1, but Escobar managed an RBI groundout in the fifth to get the Royals back to within a run.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kyle Seager hit a two-run RBI single with -- what else? -- two outs to make it 5-2 Seattle.
The eighth inning was a terrifying one for Mariners fans. After Felix Hernandez recorded the first out of the inning, Brandon League came in and promptly gave up a single and stolen base to Escobar. League struck out Lorenzo Cain for the second out, but gave up an RBI single to Billy Butler and a single to Salvador Perez. League was pulled and Oliver Perez came in to try to wiggle out of the jam, but threw a wild pitch that advanced both runners and gave up a single to Eric Hosmer that tied the game 5-5. All three eighth-inning runs were charged to League.
The Mariners were able to answer back right away in the bottom of the eighth with two more runs. Mike Carp doubled to lead off the inning and came in to score on a throwing error on a Trayvon Robinson bunt. Robinson ended up at second on the play and eventually scored on a Casper Wells single that made it 7-5.
The M's still weren't out of trouble, as Tom Wilhelmsen gave up an RBI groundout with two outs in the ninth -- again from Escobar -- but struck out Lorenzo Cain swinging to finally end the game and secure the sweep.
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