Miley, homers send Royals to 5th straight L

Miley, homers send Royals to 5th straight L

SEATTLE -- Wade Miley pitched his first career shutout and Kyle Seager and Seth Smith hit home runs as the Mariners clinched their fifth straight series victory with a 6-0 win over the Royals on Saturday at Safeco Field.

"We're playing good baseball right now," Miley said. "We're coming together, we're jelling, we just need to keep it rolling."

The Mariners have won eight of their past 10 games and sit a half-game back of Texas in the American League West race at 13-10, while the Royals have lost five straight for the first time since May 1-5, 2014, in falling to 12-11.

"You just keep battling through it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's no fun going through it. But you look to wake up tomorrow and start a good streak. End a bad one and start a good one."

Miley evened his record at 2-2 with by far his best start for the Mariners, allowing five hits with no walks and four strikeouts and lowering his ERA to 5.06. Seager and Smith provided the punch as Seattle totaled just seven hits, but drew a season-high eight walks after working seven the night before. The Mariners hadn't won five straight series since 2011.

Miley's first career shutout

Hard-throwing right-hander Yordano Ventura (2-1, 3.67 ERA) struggled with his control and lasted just four-plus innings for the Royals, giving up five runs on three hits with six walks and a hit batter.

"I struggled with command all day long," Ventura said through an interpreter. "I didn't make good pitches at all with any of my pitches. I just didn't have command of the baseball."

First-inning fireworks: Smith and Seager jumped on Ventura fastballs in the first to give the Mariners a quick 4-0 lead. Smith drove a 95-mph heater deep to right-center on a solo shot projected at 429 feet by Statcast™. It was his fourth homer of the season and came on the heels of his Friday game-winner in Seattle's one-hit, 1-0 win. Seager then unloaded a three-run shot to right, projected at 397 feet, as he turned around a 97-mph fastball for his fifth long ball of the year.

"Facing a guy like him, it's definitely nice to get some early runs, because they're at a premium against him," Seager said. "He throws really hard. You definitely have to be ready for that. What makes him really tough is he can throw that changeup and all three pitches, so it's not just the fastball."

Smith's solo homer

Walks hurt Ventura: The Royals right-hander never had command of his stuff, and it hurt him. Both of the batters Ventura walked in the first inning scored on Seager's three-run homer, and Seager came around to score in the fourth inning after working a leadoff walk. Ventura finished with six walks and a hit batter and split his 82 pitches evenly, with 41 strikes and 41 balls.

Boomstick gets bopped: Nelson Cruz did some damage -- and avoided getting damaged -- on his bobblehead night as he reached base four times, including twice on hit by pitches. Cruz took a Ventura fastball off his left elbow pad in the third, then drove in a run with a bases-loaded plunk off the same arm in the sixth from reliever Dillon Gee. Cruz also walked twice and scored a run on Seager's first-inning blast. Miley hit Alex Gordon with a pitch in on the hands in the top of the seventh, but nothing more came of the insider's exchange.

Cruz scores run with HBP

At 13-10, the Mariners are three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2014 season.

"We've always felt we had a pretty good team. We have a lot of confidence in each other. The way we're constructed is pretty good, it looks like. Everybody is excited for what could happen." -- Seager after the Mariners won their 11th game in the past 15.

The Mariners successfully challenged a safe call on a play at second base by shortstop Ketel Marte in the third inning. Marte bobbled a ground ball by Alcides Escobar, but recovered in time to step on the bag for a force out on Paulo Orlando. Orlando initially was ruled safe, but the call was overturned after a 50-second review. That wound up saving the Mariners a run as Mike Moustakas followed with a ground-rule double before Miley stranded runners at second and third with a Lorenzo Cain pop out.

Marte tags out Orlando

Royals: New acquisition Ian Kennedy (2-2, 2.77 ERA) gets the start for the Royals on Sunday at 3:10 p.m. CT. Kennedy, who has a 3.30 ERA with 160 strikeouts in his last 26 starts dating back to last June 2, is 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA in two career starts vs. Seattle. Both of those starts came last year, when Kennedy was with the Padres.

Mariners: Right-hander Taijuan Walker (2-0, 1.44) closes out the homestand in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. PT game as the 23-year-old looks to continue his outstanding start to the season. Walker struck out 11, including the last six batters in a row, in seven innings of one-run ball against the Astros on Monday. He's gone six-plus innings with two-or-fewer earned runs in his first four starts.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Doug Miller is a reporter for and covered the Royals on Friday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.