The KC Royals needed a comeback to beat the visiting Seattle Mariners, 4-3 on Tuesday night.
The Royals bullpen could not hold the 3-2 lead, as Kelvin Herrera and Tim Collins combined to allow the tying run in the seventh on two singles and an RBI ground out. Collins went back out for the eighth and left the game after allowing back-to-back one out hits to put runners at second and third base. In came Luke Hochevar, who shut the door.
In the bottom of the eighth, Eric Hosmer led off the inning by working a walk, but a double play ground out by Billy Butler had fans groaning. However, Mike Moustakas followed with a double and Salvador Perez broke the tie with an RBI single.
That was more then enough for closer Greg Holland, who picked up his 38th save of the season. He struck out the first two batters he faced and threw just 12 pitches.
Alex Gordon led off the bottom of the first with his 12th leadoff home run of his career. That is a new Royals record. Perez added a solo homer in the fourth that gave the Royals a 2-0 lead. In the fifth, Butler singled to drive in another run, but Moose grounded into an inning ending double play.
Bruce Chen escaped a few jams early, like the second when the Mariners had runners on the corners and no outs. But he escaped. He could not escape the sixth, when he allowed a two-run home run to Kyle Seager. That cut the lead to 3-2.
The win, coupled with a Detroit loss, puts the Royals 8.5 games back of the American League Central lead. Cleveland beat Baltimore and the NY Yankees also won. So, the Royals are four back in the Wild Card (mainly because both Oakland and TB are still playing). The Yankees have passed the O’s by a half game and the Royals are still just a game back of the Indians.
*Second baseman Chris Getz was removed from the game in the 3rd inning as he was dealing with dizziness and stomach issues.
**The Royals made a flurry of roster moves on Tuesday. After saying they would not pilfer Triple-A Omaha if the Storm Chasers made the playoffs, they promoted four players, along with relievers Wade Davis and Louis Coleman. Lefty reliever Donnie Joseph and second baseman Johnny Giavotella were recalled and infielder Pedro Ciriaco and first baseman Carlos Pena had their contracts selected (with outfielder Edinson Rincon being designated and pitcher Noel Arguelles being placed on the 60-day DL). Pena made his Royals debut on defense at first base in the ninth.
***With Omaha losing players, six players were promoted from Double-A NW Arkansas to replace them. They include infielder Rey Navarro, catcher Mitch Canham, outfielder Lane Adams, and pitchers Ryan Verdugo, Spencer Patton, and Jason Bergmann. Adams and Patton played the first half of the season with High-A Wilmington. I am surprised that home run hitter Matt Fields was not promoted to take the place of Pena.