KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Seattle Mariners desperately wanted to go into the All-Star break with a winning record.
Robinson Cano and Adam Lind homered in a five-run seventh inning and the Mariners held off the Kansas City Royals 8-5 on Sunday.
Cano’s two-run shot to deep right field for his 21st home run of the season extended the Mariners’ lead to 5-0. Lind hit a three-run shot, his 13th, a few batters later.
“A lot of good at-bats,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Guys were grinding. Definitely want to go to the break above .500. It was an important game for us today.”
The Mariners (45-44) head into the break above .500 for the second time since 2010, after going 51-44 in 2014.
The Royals scored five runs over the final three innings, pulling within three on Alex Gordon’s homer leading off the ninth.
Mike Montgomery (3-3) pitched 6 1/3 strong innings, giving up one run and five hits, in his first start of the season.
Dillion Gee (3-3) struggled early and picked up the loss for the Royals, giving up three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings.
One of the key moments in Gee’s rough outing occurred in the first inning where an errant throw on a double play opportunity eventually led to Seattle’s first score.
“I kinda got caught in between when I came up to take a look at second,” Gee said. “It was right when the umpire was kinda like, making his way into position and I tried to slow up a little bit and it sailed on me. Just a costly mistake”
Brett Eibner had three hits, including his third homer of the season in the seventh and an RBI single in the Royals’ three-run eighth.
Despite the loss, the Royals went into the All-Star break with a winning record for the third straight season at 45-42.
Kyle Seager had a two-run single in the first, and Ketel Marte added a run-scoring single in the fourth to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead.
Marte finished the game with two hits in four at bats to go along with that run scoring single in the fourth inning.
“You know, see the ball, see the ball. If I feel good, I know I’ll get on base.” Marte said. “I know I’ve got the talent. I know I can hit. You know, I’m trying to come back and give a hundred percent every day and see what happens after.”
Kendrys Morales’ bases-loaded walk pulled the Royals to 8-2 in the eighth, and Cheslor Cuthbert capped the three-run inning with a sacrifice fly.
Seattle’s two homers pushed it into second by themselves with a team total of 132 home runs on the season. … Cano will compete in the 2016 Home Run Derby on Monday at Petco Park. He is the first Mariner to compete in the contest since Bret Boone in 2003. This is Cano’s first Derby since 2013 when he was with the New York Yankees.
ROYALS AT THE ESPYS
After the All-Star Game on Tuesday, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez will attend the 2016 ESPY’s on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. Kansas City is nominated for “Best Team” and manger Ned Yost is nominated for “Best Coach/Manager”. This will be Perez first trip to the ESPY’s. “Yeah, it’s cool. The All-Star Game is a special moment, there’s a lot of top players there_a lot of All Stars. As for the ESPY’s, this is my first time going so that’s pretty good for us.”
Following the All Star break, the Royals travel to Detroit to face the Tigers in a three game series then come back home for a nine game homestead against Cleveland, Texas and Los Angeles. The Mariners return from the break for two series at home then will hit the road for the rest of July to face Toronto, Pittsburgh and Chicago.