Mariners bid for better performance from bullpen in clash vs. Royals

Mariners bid for better performance from bullpen in clash vs. Royals

By winning eight straight games shortly after the trade deadline, the Seattle Mariners seemed to have answered those who questioned their deal that sent closer Paul Sewald to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

But the past few days have shown the Mariners are missing a big piece to their bullpen.

New closer Andres Munoz allowed three unearned runs in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals before the Mariners snapped a three-game skid with a 10-8 victory in 10 innings.

The teams are scheduled to meet again Wednesday night in Kansas City. Seattle ace Luis Castillo (8-7, 3.14 ERA) is slated to take the mound against Royals fellow right-hander James McArthur (0-0, 13.50), who will make his first major league start.

“We felt like we were in control of the ballgame, but we opened the door for them,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said of Tuesday’s game. “They got some big hits. We couldn’t put them away.”

The Mariners‘ winning streak ended over the weekend as Munoz gave up a run Saturday in a 1-0 loss in 10 innings to visiting Baltimore.

A day later, Munoz allowed the go-ahead run in the ninth of a game Seattle lost 5-3 in 10 innings.

With Munoz unavailable Monday, Matt Brash was called on to protect a one-run lead in the ninth against the Royals. He gave up two runs in a 7-6 M’s defeat.

Servais was asked after Tuesday’s game if the Mariners are expecting too much from their young relievers.

“They’re the best guys we have (in the bullpen),” Servais said. “… We need to get better. You go through these lulls, so to speak. You learn from it and move forward. The stuff’s still really good. We just need to execute better in (those) spots.”

The Mariners took a 7-0 lead Tuesday on fourth-inning homers by Eugenio Suarez, Ty France, Teoscar Hernandez and Josh Rojas.

The Royals battled back, sparked by Bobby Witt Jr.’s fifth-inning grand slam, and tied the score in the ninth before France’s decisive two-run single with the bases loaded in extra innings.

“These guys, they don’t quit,” Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said. “Those are good arms they battled back against. The ninth inning was exciting.”

Munoz was credited with the victory, and Tayler Saucedo pitched a perfect 10th for his first major league save.

Hernandez matched his career high with five hits and had three RBIs.

“I definitely felt good,” Hernandez said. “My swing and my timing is fine right now. For me, the most important thing is I’m making a lot of contact.”

With six weeks left in the season, the Royals clinched their seventh straight losing record. They finished 81-81 in 2016, a year after winning the World Series.

Castillo allowed one run on two hits over six innings in his last start, a 9-2 victory against visiting Baltimore on Friday. He walked two and fanned eight. Castillo is 0-1 with a 3.74 ERA in four career starts against Kansas City.

McArthur has made five relief appearances for the Royals, including allowing two hits in one scoreless inning against Seattle on Tuesday.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.