Ryan Franklin is only one of three major league pitchers with at least ten losses, but on Monday, he could have been confused for a Cy Young Award contender. Franklin tossed a complete-game, six-hit shut out of the Royals in a 6-0 decision at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals’ rookie starter J.P. Howell was no match for Franklin, completing five innings and allowing six runs off eight hits and a walk.
The Mariners scored four runs in the third inning and Pat Borders had the honor of driving in the first run of the game with an RBI single. Former Royals’ outfielder Raul Ibanez made it 4-0 with a three-run homer, his 12th.
In the sixth inning, Ibanez and Adrian Beltre led off with back-to-back singles to put runners at first and second. Richie Sexson made it three straight singles and drove in Ibanez to give Seattle a 5-0 lead. Howell was replaced by Mike Wood, who got Jose Lopez to ground into a double play, but Beltre scored to give the Mariners the six-run bulge.
The Royals had two chances to score late in the game. In the seventh inning Mike Sweeney, the team’s only All-Star selection, doubled to lead off the inning. Matt Stairs was hit by a pitch and Sweeney moved to second base. Terrence long singled to center and Kansas City had the bases loaded with no outs. But Angel Berroa struck out, Mark Teahen popped out and John Buck grounded to the shortstop as Long was out at second.
Then in the eighth, the Royals had David DeJesus at third and Ruben Gotay at first with one out, but Sweeney grounded into a double play to end the threat. Kansas City went down in order in the ninth.
The Royals have been shut out in three of their last four games and have lost four straight.