Mariners use early offense to cruise past Royals

seattle mariners

March 25, 2014, SURPRISE, Ariz. (ISN) – Seattle used a 14-hit attack to back up Felix Hernandez and cruise past the Kansas City Royals 9-6 in Cactus League action in front of 8,296 fans at Surprise Stadium.

Hernandez completed his final start of the spring by tossing 5.0 innings while striking out six. After giving up two runs in the first inning, he settled down to retire the next ten batters. Hernandez will start on Opening Night on Monday against the Angels in Anaheim.

The Mariners offense gave Felix all of the support that he needed by scoring nine runs in the first four innings including a six-run third frame. After Mike Zunino tied the game with a solo home run in the second inning, the third inning featured a leadoff double by Brad Miller, a two-run home run by Stefen Romero and RBI hits by Dustin Ackley, Zunino and Abraham Almonte to build an 8-2 advantage. Seattle capped its scoring on an RBI single by Romero in the fourth inning.

Romero finished the game 3-for-4 with a run scored, a home run and three RBI and on the spring is hitting .296 (16×54) with 10 runs, 3 doubles, 2 triples, four home runs and 13 RBI in 21 games after starting the spring 0-for-his-first-16.

Miller continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-4 with two runs and two doubles. On the spring he is hitting 436 (24×55) with 17 runs, 6 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs and 10 RBI in 18 games. First baseman Justin Smoak recorded his third straight multi-hit game and has quietly put together a solid spring with a .310 (18×58) batting average, a .382 on-base percentage and a .517 slugging percentage.

Reliever Dominic Leone allowed a single run in the sixth before Yoervis Medina (7th), Carson Smith (8th) each tossed scoreless innings. Ramon Ramirez allowed two runs in the ninth before closing out the game for Seattle.

The Mariners (17-10-3) will play a day game on Wednesday against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. You can hear all the action on a delayed basis on 710 ESPN Seattle with Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith calling the action. Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez is scheduled to start for the Mariners vs. Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis.

LINESCORE            1 2 3       4 5 6     7 8 9             R       H      E   

MARINERS             1 1 6       1 0 0     0 0 0     –       9     14      1

ROYALS                 2 0 0       0 1 1     0 0 2     –       6        9      1

WP: Felix Hernandez (2-0) LP: Bruce Chen (0-4) SV: None

SEA – Hernandez, Leone (6), Medina (7), Smith (8), R. Ramirez (9) and Zunino, Buck (7)

KC – Chen, Bueno (5), Davis (8), Holland (9) and Perez

Home Runs – SEA: Zunino (2), Romero (4); KC: Gordon (2)

Attendance – 8,296           Time – 2:43

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