Salvador Perez strikes again as Royals knock down Mariners 4-2

SEATTLE (AP) – Salvador Perez slashes the Seattle Mariners’ playoff hopes, one big swing at a time.

Perez scored for the fourth game in a row, scoring a two-point shot from the top of the fence for his 37th of the season to lead the Kansas City Royals over the Mariners 4-2 on Saturday.

Perez’s four-game home streak is tied for the longest of his career, the last in 2017. He has 16 homers since the all-star break, including seven on the Royals’ current 10-game trip.

“The way I do it is that I prepare myself every day to play and compete and try to win the game,” said Perez.

Whit Merrifield also scored for Kansas City, which won its third straight game against Seattle to hurt the Mariners’ playoff aspirations.

Merrifield hit the 11th home run of his career on the second pitch of the game from starter Tyler Anderson (6-9). Perez, who hit the grand slam in each of the first two games of the series, scored with two strikeouts in the fifth, a practice that barely escaped Dylan Moore’s wall jump in left field.

Perez jumped in the third inning with goals loaded but got the better of Anderson two innings later.

“I’m surprised he hasn’t hit another grand slam,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said. “I mean he’s just the kind of player he is right now. It’s incredible.”

Cam Gallagher added a two-out RBI single in the ninth after Emmanuel Rivera doubled up on a popup that fell in the outfield between Jarred Kelenic and Mitch Haniger.

Seattle chose an inopportune time for a three-game skid, especially after a successful 6-2 road trip that kept the Mariners in contention in the AL race. They lost 5 1/2 games behind Boston for last place.

“It was a tough series against the Royals. The matches were very close, very competitive. They got the big hits and we didn’t, ”Seattle manager Scott Servais said.

The Mariners’ first run came on Cal Raleigh walks in the fifth inning, the only run awarded to starter Daniel Lynch. Lynch missed the win by going just 4 2/3 innings, but the Royals’ reliever box was solid.

Domingo Tapia, Joel Payamps (1-3) and Scott Barlow combined for 4 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and a run. Barlow struggled in the ninth on back-to-back doubles with two outs from Haniger and Luis Torrens, but allowed Kyle Seager to retire to complete his 10th save.

The Royals relieves have allowed three earned runs in 16 2/3 innings in the first three games of the series.

Other than the two home runs, Anderson was great. The southpaw reached eighth for the second time this season, but was pulled out after Nicky Lopez started the round with a single. Anderson allowed eight hits and six strikeouts.

Anderson has made 26 consecutive starts of at least five pitched innings, including 24 this season.

“Some shots that I would obviously like to get back that probably weren’t that bad, but they were too good at the shots for these guys right now, who are really swinging the bat,” said Anderson.

CHANGE OF LIST

Seattle had a flurry of line-up moves ahead of Saturday’s game, including outfielder Jake Fraley who is on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder injury. Fraley appeared to be injured as he crashed into the wall while trying to steal a home run in the 12th inning of Friday’s loss.

Left-handed reliever Anthony Misiewicz was also made the 10-day injured list with a left forearm injury.

Seattle has recalled RHP Wyatt Mills and selected RHP Jimmy Yacabonis from Triple-A Tacoma. IF Shed Long Jr. was transferred to the 60-day injured list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. RHP Keynan Middleton was also transferred outright to Tacoma after being nominated for an assignment earlier this week.

TRAINERS ‘ROOM

Royals: 1B Carlos Santana was eliminated late with hip pain.

Mariners: Seager was not in the starting lineup due to a back pain that developed in Friday’s loss, but came into play in the seventh inning and has appeared in 128 of 130 games this season .

FOLLOWING

Royals: RHP Brady Singer (3-9, 5.07) will make his first start against the Mariners. The singer suffered loss in his last outing, allowing four runs in five innings against Houston.

Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (5-5, 4.13) is 4-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his last nine starts on July 9. Gonzales made no decision in his last start against Oakland.

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