Jun 21, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners batter Dustin Ackley (13) singles in the go ahead run against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Seattle beat Kansas City 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Ackley's single sends Royals to Third Straight Loss

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Dustin Ackley‘s 9th-inning single drove in the game-winning run for the Seattle Mariners off Kansas City starter Jason Vargas to defeat the Royals 2-1 at Kauffman Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Vargas argued with manager Ned Yost to stay in the game after Kyle Seager hit a two-out double in the top of the 9th. Vargas then proceeded to give up two more singles to lose the game.

The loss drops Kansas City to 4 games over .500 at 39-35. The Royals have fallen 1.5 games behind Detroit in the American League Central.

On the Mound

Jason Vargas pitched a wonderful game, holding the Mariners to 1 run through 8.2 innings until he talked himself in to a loss. Overall, Vargas finished with 8.2 innings pitched, allowing 10 hits, 2 walks, 2 earned runs with 2 strikeouts.

Kelvin Herrera came in to record the final out after Ackley had already done the damage. Yost should have listened to his initial instincts rather than let himself be swayed into an emotional decision by Vargas, and the large Saturday crowd.

At the Plate

The Royals offense consisted entirely of Alex Gordon‘s 8th home run, which he hit in the 5th inning to tie the game at 1-1. The Royals followed Gordon’s home run with two consecutive singles, but Salvador Perez ran the Royals out of a threat by trying to stretch his gapper into a double after Gordon’s home run.

Overall, the Royals only had 3 hits on the day, and drew two walks. It was nothing short of an awful day for the offense.

Gordon continued his hot hitting by going 1-3, with 1 run scored and 1 RBI.

Perez and newly recalled Justin Maxwell (in place of Nori Aoki) had the Royals only other hits.

This and That

In a league increasingly populated by hard-throwers, Saturday’s game was something of a soft-tossers throwback day. Jason Vargas’ fastball tops out at 87 mph, while Seattle’s Chris Young works at 84 to 85 mph.

The Royals have lost games by 1, 2, and 1 run over the last 3 days. Overall, the Royals are a very unlucky 8-14 in 1-run games this season—which is a little surprising given Greg Holland and Wade Davis in the back end of the bullpen.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

I guess I have to go with Jason Vargas, who did pitch 8.2 strong innings, but I’m not entirely happy with the pick because his competitiveness ended up causing him to talk himself into a loss. However, you WANT your starters to have that fire. It’s the manager’s job to pull the plug. I guess i can’t blame Vargas for Yost failing to do his job.

The Mariners

Seattle starter Chris Young not only fails to throw hard, his fastball is mostly straight. Yet, the 6’10″ Young has a deceptive motion that his hard for batters to pick up. He dominated the Royals with 7.0 strong innings, allowing only 3 hits, 1walk, 1 earned run with only 2 strikeouts.  Young lowered his ERA to 3.23, but did not pick up the win despite his quality start. At least the Royals aren’t the only ones who have trouble hitting this guy.

Up Next

The Royals and Mariners finish their 3-game series Sunday afternoon. The Royals will send rookie Yordano Ventura (5-5, 3.26 ERA) to the mound against Roenis Elias (6-5, 3.91 ERA) for Seattle. Game time is 1:10 CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Box

AB R H RBI BB SO James Jones CF 4 0 1 0 0 0 4 .293 .326 .359 .685
Cole Gillespie LF 4 0 1 1 0 0 4 .254 .306 .328 .634
Robinson Cano 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .332 .392 .442 .834
Logan Morrison 1B 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .172 .226 .310 .536
John Buck C 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .232 .312 .304 .616
Kyle Seager 3B 4 1 2 0 0 0 4 .253 .331 .453 .784
Stefen Romero RF 4 0 2 0 0 0 4 .204 .245 .338 .583
   Endy Chavez RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .238 .258 .317 .575
Jesus Montero DH 3 0 1 0 0 0 3 .286 .286 .500 .786
   Dustin Ackley PR-DH 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 .233 .287 .361 .648
Brad Miller SS 3 1 2 0 0 0 3 .202 .272 .324 .596
Team Totals 35 2 10 2 0 2 35 .286 .286 .314 .600
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/22/2014.

2B: K Seager (17, off J Vargas).
TB: K Seager 3; S Romero 2; B Miller 2; C Gillespie; J Jones; J Montero; D Ackley.
GIDP: L Morrison (2); J Jones (2).
RBI: C Gillespie (5); D Ackley (26).
2-out RBI: D Ackley.
Team LOB: 6.
With RISP: 3 for 7.
Fielding
DP: 2. R Cano-B Miller-L Morrison; B Miller-R Cano-L Morrison.
Outfield Assists: J Jones (S Perez at 2nd base).
Baserunning
CS: S Romero (3, Home by K Herrera/S Perez).

AB R H RBI BB SO Jarrod Dyson CF 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 .287 .342 .307 .649
Eric Hosmer 1B 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .255 .294 .363 .657
Billy Butler DH 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .278 .330 .361 .691
Alex Gordon LF 2 1 1 1 1 0 3 .292 .371 .469 .840
Salvador Perez C 3 0 1 0 0 1 3 .280 .331 .440 .771
Justin Maxwell RF 3 0 1 0 0 1 3 .156 .229 .188 .416
Mike Moustakas 3B 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .174 .243 .363 .606
Alcides Escobar SS 3 0 0 0 0 1 3 .288 .326 .394 .720
Pedro Ciriaco 2B 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 .222 .239 .267 .506
   Omar Infante PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .244 .292 .355 .647
Team Totals 27 1 3 1 2 5 29 .111 .172 .222 .395
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/22/2014.

HR: A Gordon (9, off C Young, 5th inn, 0 on, 0 outs to Deep RF Line).
TB: A Gordon 4; S Perez; J Maxwell.
GIDP: E Hosmer (10); S Perez (15).
RBI: A Gordon (40).
Team LOB: 1.
With RISP: 0 for 0.
Fielding
DP: 2. P Ciriaco-A Escobar-E Hosmer 2.
E: A Escobar (6).

IP H R ER BB SO HR BF Chris Young 7 3 1 1 1 2 1 3.23 23 99 72
Yoervis Medina, W (4-1) 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.63 3 14 10
Fernando Rodney, S (20) 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 2.15 3 11 5
Team Totals 9 3 1 1 2 5 1 1.00 29 124 87
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/22/2014.
IP H R ER BB SO HR BF Jason Vargas, L (7-3) 8.2 10 2 2 0 2 0 3.16 35 115 84
Kelvin Herrera 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.30 0 5 2
Team Totals 9 10 2 2 0 2 0 2.00 35 120 86
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/22/2014.

Balks: J Vargas (1).
WP: None.
HBP: None.
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

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Tags: Alex Gordon Dustin Ackley Jason Vargas Kansas City Royals