KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Mitch Haniger hit a runoff homer with two outs in the ninth inning, eliminating the Seattle Mariners over the Royals 6-5 on Wednesday night after Whit Merrifield extended his run of I hit 31 games for Kansas City.
Marineros 6, Royals 5: Box score
Merrifield's RBI single in the seventh draw at 5 and moved him past Hall of Famer George Brett for the Royals mark.
Haniger caught Brad Boxberger (0-2) in the background, lifting Seattle to 12-2 after a review of the offseason squad. The Mariners and the Cleveland Indians of 2002 are the only teams since 1908 in home runs in each of their first 14 games. The Mariners have 34 homers, tied with the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals in most of the last 14 games. Seattle has scored at least five runs 13 times.
– Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 11, 2019
Anthony Swarzak (1-0) had two outs in the eighth, and Roenis Elias worked in a jam loaded with bases in the ninth for his second save.
Seattle's Jay Bruce, tied for the AL home run with seven, left the game in the fourth inning with pressure on his left Achilles tendon.
Kansas City fell to 2-9 with its ninth straight loss.
Merrifield hit Terrance Gore in third place in the seventh. He placed the ball perfectly on the line of third base and brought his cap to a crowd that encouraged him after reaching the first without a shot.
Gore made his first major league start and had three hits in the game after entering with two hits in six Major League seasons. His double with two outs helped Kansas City threaten in the ninth inning, but after Merrifield was intentionally walked and Billy Hamilton took a free pbad, Adalberto Mondesi appeared to finish it.
Yusei Kikuchi allowed three runs and five hits in six innings for Seattle. He retired the last 10 batters he faced after allowing the second of two homers.
Jorge Soler hit a home run of 454 feet in the third. Hunter Dozier also took Kikuchi deep.
A LONG TIME TO GET THERE
Gore was part of the AL's back-to-back championship in 2014 and 2015, but generally as an emerging runner. He appeared in 67 games, but only had 20 appearances on the plate. He achieved his first Major League success last season with the Chicago Cubs. He had his first success with the Royals earlier this season.
"I do not want to pigeonhole him as a base runner," manager Ned Yost said. "I've seen him take off his tail – Alex Gordon type work, I see him take batting practice every day, he's gotten stronger, his swing has improved, while he works hard, I want to give him a chance."
Mariners: SS Tim Beckham returned to the lineup after missing two games with a right thigh right.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
RHP Mariners Mike Leake (2-0, 2.92 ERA) will get the start for the Mariners in the final game of the four-game series. He will face Real RHP Jorge Lopez (0-1, 4.09 ERA).
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