SEATTLE MARINERS

First-place Seattle Mariners hammer KC Royals 15-2

Aug 26, 2023, 4:02 PM | Updated: 7:13 pm

Seattle Mariners Teoscar Hernández...

Seattle Mariners' Teoscar Hernández follows through on a grand slam on Aug. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

(AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

SEATTLE (AP) — Teoscar Hernández homered twice and drove in six runs as the Seattle Mariners matched a franchise record with seven home runs in a 15-2 rout of the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

Seattle Mariners 15, Kansas City Royals 2: Box score

Hernández hit a grand slam to highlight a seven-run third inning and added a 446-foot shot off position player Matt Duffy in the eighth for his 21st of the season.

Josh Rojas, Mike Ford, Julio Rodríguez, Cal Raleigh and Cade Marlowe also homered for Seattle, which won for the 10th time in 11 games.

“This game can get contagious when you’re going good offensively,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “That’s what we’re seeing. There’s no question about it.”

It was the fifth time in franchise history the Mariners hit seven homers in a game. They also accomplished the feat in 2002, 1999, 1996 and 1985.

Mariners tie franchise record with seven homers – watch them all

Seattle totaled 13 hits and seven walks in yet another big offensive performance. The Mariners reached double-digit runs for the third time in seven games and the fourth time in their past 11.

It was Seattle’s first game with 15-plus runs since 2016.

“It’s a lot easier hitting when your lineup is on fire,” Rojas said. “A lot less pressure. Just going out there trying to get it to the next guy and seeing what they can do.”

Logan Gilbert (12-5) delivered seven strong innings for Seattle, allowing just one run and two hits. He struck out seven, walked one and won his sixth consecutive decision.

“Logan was fantastic,” Servais said. “The best slider he’s had maybe all year long. Kept the velocity on the fastball — kept pumping it in. And some really good split-fingers.”

The Mariners improved to 73-56 and ensured they would maintain at least a share of first place in the AL West for a second straight day.

Seattle began the afternoon tied with Texas atop the AL West, marking its first shared or outright division lead after the All-Star break since 2003. The Rangers beat Minnesota on Saturday night to snap an eight-game losing streak and stay even with the Mariners.

Current MLB Standings: Division | Wild Card

“Everybody’s playing the best brand of baseball that we can right now on every side — pitching, defense, hitting,” Gilbert said. “It’s fun to be in this spot.”

Seattle broke open the game with three homers off Jordan Lyles (3-15) in the third inning. It came just 11 days after the Mariners went deep four times off the Kansas City right-hander during a seven-run fourth inning on Aug. 15.

Lyles became the first 15-loss pitcher in the majors this season. The Royals lost for the ninth time in 11 games.

“Today, I think it was the command,” Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said. “We got behind, walked those couple guys. … And so that’s where most of it comes from — just not being as fine with his command.”

Rojas led off the third with his third homer since being acquired by Seattle on July 31. He didn’t hit a homer in 59 games with Arizona earlier this season.

Later in the frame, Hernández pulled his third career grand slam over the left-field fence and Ford added his 13th homer to make it 7-0.

Watch: Mariners stay hot as Teoscar Hernández hits grand salami

Rodríguez hit a two-run shot in the fifth off reliever Jackson Kowar. It was his 22nd homer of the season and 50th of his career.

Raleigh added his 25th homer in the sixth and Marlowe hit a two-run shot in the seventh to make it 14-1.

“What lies ahead of us here over the next 30-some-odd games is going to be really exciting,” Servais said. “It’s been a lot of fun and our players are feeling it. You go home at night and you can’t wait to be at the ballpark the next day.”

NO. 50 FOR JULIO

Rodríguez’s fifth-inning shot made him just the second player in major league history with at least 50 homers and 50 stolen bases through his first two seasons.

The other player to accomplish the feat is Atlanta star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., who totaled 67 homers and 53 stolen bases over his first two seasons in 2018 and 2019.

Rodríguez also became the fastest player in Mariners history to 50 career homers, reaching the mark in 256 career games. Alex Rodriguez previously held the mark at 269 games.

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