SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners tied Texas for the AL West lead, beating the Kansas City Royals 7-5 on Friday night behind Eugenio Suárez’s three hits and three RBIs, which included a go-ahead, two-run single in the fourth inning.
Seattle was 10 games out of first at 47-48 before play on July 20, but the Mariners have gone on a 25-8 run. At 128 games into the season, this is the latest the Mariners have had a share of first place since 2003.
“It’s really big for us,” Suarez said. “We’ve been grinding all year long and now we are on top on the leaders. That means a lot for us. We’ve been grinding. We never quit.”
Kansas City led 3-2 before Suárez’s fourth-inning single. Seattle built a 6-3 lead in the fifth when Teoscar Hernández scored on Austin Cox’s wild pitch, and Josh Rojas had an RBI single.
Kyle Isbel cut the gap to 6-5 with a two-run homer in the seventh against Matt Brash.
Suárez hit a run-scoring double in the eighth off Taylor Hearn and has a seven-game hitting streak.
Andrés Muñoz allowed a single and walk in the ninth, then retired Maikel Garcia on a groundout. Bobby Witt Jr. was intentionally walked with two outs, loading the bases, and Muñoz struck out pinch-hitter Freddy Fermin for his ninth save in 13 chances.
Isaiah Campbell (4-0), the second of seven Seattle pitchers, threw a hitless fifth.
Kansas City dropped to a major league-worst 18-49 on the road and is 1-82 this year when trailing entering the ninth.
Royals starter Brady Singer (8-10) gave up four runs and nine hits in four innings, and the Mariners finished with 16 hits.
“I think we’re a little underrated,” manager Scott Servais said. “That’s OK. That’s fine. Our guys keep grinding, and having good at-bats. The biggest thing, too, is the bottom of our lineup has really started to give us production. So every inning is a grind for that pitcher out there on the other team, and it’s paying off for us.”
J.P. Crawford hit his fourth leadoff homer of the season in the bottom of the first, and Cal Raleigh singled home a run for a 2-0 lead.
Kansas City went ahead 3-2 in the second when Nelson Velázquez hit an RBI single, MJ Melendez scored on a throwing error by Mariners starter Bryce Miller, and Isbel hit a run-scoring single. Drew Waters tried to score from second on Isbel’s hit but was thrown out by left fielder Dominic Canzone.
Miller allowed six hits and three earned runs over four innings, with six strikeouts.
“We knew he was going to throw a ton of fastballs,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He got some strikeouts, but we put up some pretty good at-bats.”
Royals: RHP Taylor Clarke was placed on the family medical emergency list and RHP Collin Snider was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.
Mariners: OF Jarred Kelenic (broken foot) will begin a rehab assignment next week in Triple-A Tacoma, with a projected return to game action of mid-September … RHP Emerson Hancock (shoulder) was diagnosed with a grade 1-plus shoulder strain, with no tear or structural damage. He received a platelet rich plasma injection.
Royals: INF Nick Pratto (groin strain) had a setback on his rehab assignment and will be evaluated on Monday … LHP Jake Brentz had a season-ending lat strain while on his rehab assignment from Tommy John surgery.
RHP Logan Gilbert (11-5, 3.77 ERA) will pitch for the Mariners on Saturday against Royals RHP Jordan Lyles (3-14, 6.20 ERA).