Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners hold on to beat Royals 3-2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hisashi Iwakuma pitched into the seventh inning, Seattle scored the go-ahead runs on Yordano Ventura’s wild pitch and the Mariners held on to beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Friday night.

Iwakuma (9-6) allowed one run, five hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings, striking out six. He kept the Royals off balance with his usual herky-jerky delivery, the only run he allowed coming on Cheslor Cuthbert’s base hit in the fourth inning.

Steve Cishek, who blew the save in the series opener, allowed Salvador Perez’s homer in the ninth inning before finishing off the inning. It was his 21st save of the season.

Ventura (6-6) was nearly as stingy, giving up only a sacrifice fly to Ketel Marte in the fifth, before things unraveled for him after Seth Smith’s single and Robinson Cano’s double in the sixth inning.

Nelson Cruz stepped to the plate and nearly gave Seattle a three-run homer, sending a pitch soaring down the right-field line. First base umpire CB Bucknor initially signaled home run, then signaled foul ball, then decided that he wasn’t quite sure and met with the rest of the umpires.

After a review, the ball was declared foul and Nelson dug in again.

This time, Ventura’s pitch got past Perez and bounded away, allowing Smith to score from third base and tie the game 1-all. Perez threw the ball away trying to get him out at the plate, allowing Cano to also score — the star catcher was given an error on the play.

Ventura wound up allowing three runs, six hits and a walk in seven innings. He struck out five.

The Mariners used three relievers to get the game to Cishek, who bounced back from Perez’s home run to retire Paulo Orlando and Cuthbert and help snap Seattle’s 10-game road losing streak.

HOME SWEET HOME

Royals manager Ned Yost has given up trying to explain his club’s bizarre home-road split — they began the day 28-11 at Kauffman Stadium, best in the majors, but are just 16-30 away from the spacious ballpark. They average five runs at home and just over three on the road. “It’s puzzling,” Yost said, “but there’s not anything you can point to other than we’re just not producing.”

TRAINERS ROOM

Mariners: Felix Hernandez will return July 20 against the White Sox. He is slated for a rehab start with Class-A Everett on Sunday. When asked what directions he would give Hernandez upon his return, manager Scott Servais replied: “Go pitch. Have fun.” Hernandez went on the DL June 1 with a right calf strain.

UP NEXT

RHP Edinson Volquez tries to continue his dominance of Seattle when the teams continue their four-game set Saturday. Volquez is 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in six career starts against the Mariners. He’ll face Mariners LHP Wade Miley, who is 0-2 since his return from a left shoulder injury. Miley is 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA against the Royals, throwing a shutout against them on April 30.

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