Cruz 2 HRs, Mariners top Royals 8-7 to open doubleheader

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales throws during the first inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Nelson Cruz homered twice and drove in four runs as the Seattle Mariners built a big lead, then held off the Kansas City Royals 8-7 Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader.

Cruz, Danny Valencia and Kyle Seager homered in the first two innings, helping the Mariners take a 7-0 lead off Danny Duffy (7-7).

Cruz, who leads the American League with 84 RBIs, hit a three-run drive in a four-run second. He hit his 24th home run in the seventh off Scott Alexander, a shot estimated at 465 feet to center. It was Cruz's 22nd multihomer game, his first this season.

Duffy could have been out of the second inning with Robinson Cano striking out, but catcher Drew Butera was charged with a passed ball, allowing Cano to reach first and for Jean Segura to score from second base. Four pitches later, Cruz homered.

Marco Gonzalez, who was making his Mariners' debut since being acquired in a July 21 with St. Louis, failed to make it through the fifth inning. James Pazos (3-3) won in relief and Edwin Diaz posted his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Segura led off the game with a walk and scored on Valencia's 13th home run. Seager homered with two outs in the first.

Whit Merrifield hit a two-run homer in the third. Butera walked and Merrifield singled to lead off the fifth. Lorenzo Cain's double scored Butera and Gonzalez was replaced by Pazos.

Eric Hosmer had an RBI grounder and Melky Cabrera had sacrifice fly, trimming the Mariners' lead to 7-5.

Mike Moustakas hit his 31st homer, a two-run drive, in the eighth.

Duffy left after 5 1/3 innings, yielding a season-worst seven runs, but only three earned, while striking out eight.


The Athletics traded All-Star 1B Yoder Alonso to the Mariners for minor league OF Boog Powell. The left-handed hitting Alonso will be used primarily in a platoon with 1B Valencia. Alonso has 22 home runs and 49 RBIs.


The doubleheader was caused by Saturday's rainout, the first for the Mariners since April 30, 2014. They had played 572 consecutive scheduled games, which was the longest streak in the majors, before the washout.


Mariners: RHP David Phelps left in seventh with elbow discomfort after throwing seven pitches. ... RHP Felix Hernandez, who went on the disabled list Saturday with biceps tendinitis, returned to Seattle and will be examined by team doctors Monday with a MRI scheduled.

Royals: C Salvador Perez went on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with a right intercostal strain. The club recalled C Cameron Gallagher from Triple-A Omaha, who made his big league debut.


Mariners: They are off today and will start LHP Ariel Miranda (7-5, 4.41) Tuesday at Oakland.

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (4-7, 4.60) will start the opener of a four-game series against the Cardinals with the first two games in Kauffman Stadium. RHP Carlos Martinez (7-9, 3.59) will start for St. Louis.

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