Bruce Chen and Kevin Millwood were teammates back in the late 1990′s with the Atlanta Braves. On Saturday, the two faced each other in Seattle. Millwood and the Mariners got the best of Chen and the KC Royals, 4-3.
The Royals got on the board first in the very first inning. Alcides Escobar reached on a bunt single and hustled all the way to third base on the throwing error. With two outs, Billy Butler followed with an RBI single. The Royals did not pick up another hit against Millwood until the 4th inning with one out when Butler singled.
Chen struggled in the 3rd inning and gave up three runs, which ended up costing him the ballgame. With two outs and a runner on base, Jesus Montero homered. Kyle Seager followed with a double and scored on Miguel Olivo‘s RBI single. That was the last base runner Chen would allow.
At one point in the game, the Royals had four hits and Butler had three of them (after the 6th inning). After the first three games of the series, Butler has seven hits. Unfortunately, the rest of the Royals offense has been virtually nonexistent (and they have lost all three games).
The Royals cut the deficit to 3-2 in the 8th inning on an Escobar RBI triple with one out, but they couldn’t score him to tie the game. In the bottom of the inning, reliever Jose Mijares walked the first two batters he faced. After a sac bunt in which the Royals could not record an out (it loaded the bases), Greg Holland came on in relief.
Holland got John Jaso to ground into a force out in which Eric Hosmer threw home and got the first out. Mike Carp followed with a sac fly and the Mariners got their run back.
The Royals had their chance in the 9th inning against Tom Wilhelmsen. With two outs and trailing by two runs, Hosmer singled. Lorenzo Cain followed with an RBI triple and the Royals now had the tying run just 90 feet away. Unfortunately, Alex Gordon grounded out to end the game.
*Third baseman Mike Moustakas made a nice diving stop in the bottom of the first inning on a Casper Wells single. He left with an injured knee. It’s a sprain and he is listed as day-to-day.
**For more on the Mariners, check out Needle Ball.