The Royals were unable to finish off a four game sweep of the Seattle Mariners on Sunday afternoon, losing 3-2. The loss drops the Royals to 10-5, one game behind Cleveland who won and improved to 11-4. The Indians come to Kansas City for a four game series beginning Monday night.
Mariners’ rookie pitcher Michael Pineda, gave up a leadoff double to Jeff Francoeur in the bottom of the fifth and scored on two flyouts. The Mariners came right back in the sixth to tie the game 1-1. Ichiro doubled to right, took third on a flyout and scored as Milton Bradley tripled.
Justin Smoak and Miguel Olivo each singled to start the seventh and were bunted along by Ryan Langerhans. Reliever Blake Wood came in for Francis and gave up a single to Brendan Ryan, for a 3-1 lead.
Francis was charged with three runs on six hits in his 6 1/3 innings. Pineda came out after six innings, giving up one run on three hits and four walks.
The Royals got to within a run in the ninth against Mariners reliever Brandon League. Kila Ka’aihue singled with one out and advanced to second as shortstop Ryan knocked down Francoeur’s grounder before throwing him out on a close play. Wilson Betemit’s single scored Ka’aihue and pinch-runner Mike Aviles stole second base, but Pena grounded out to end the game.