Verdugo, Royals can't hold down Mariners

Verdugo, Royals can't hold down Mariners

Verdugo, Royals can't hold down Mariners
KANSAS CITY -- If only Ryan Verdugo's Major League debut could have ended after two batters.

The 25-year-old lefty was called up from Triple-A Omaha and thrown into action for Tuesday night's game because Everett Teaford was used in emergency relief on Monday.

Verdugo's Major League debut started successfully as he quickly retired the first two batters. But it was all downhill from there, as the Mariners tagged him for six runs in 1 2/3 innings en route to a 9-6 win at Kauffman Stadium.

After getting those first two outs, Verdugo surrendered a single to Casper Wells, an RBI double to Jesus Montero and a two-run home run to Justin Smoak. Just like that, Seattle had a 3-0 lead.

Unfortunately for Verdugo, the second inning didn't go any better. Dustin Ackley and Ichiro Suzuki each singled with one out, and Montero then added another RBI, singling home Ackley. After a walk to Smoak, Kyle Seager lined a double to right field to score a pair. Down 6-0, Verdugo was chased from the game.

Verdugo threw just 55 pitches, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks.

"I got those two outs decently quick, and then I tried to take a deep breath, didn't really work too well right there," Verdugo said. "The game's a lot different up here. It's quicker. Some things just didn't go my way tonight. I didn't make quality pitches when I needed to, left the ball up a little bit, and they made me pay for it."

Verdugo was pressed into action thanks to a short outing Monday night from Jonathan Sanchez that forced Teaford into action. Sanchez was designated for assignment before Tuesday's game.

"Everyone's going to have one of those outings, it just kind of sucked that it was the first one," Verdugo said. "I just need to slow things down a little bit more, kind of step off the mound here and there maybe a few more times. Just got to come back to work tomorrow. I've got a lot of things to work on. Tomorrow's a new day."

Looking for a respite from Monday's short outing, Ned Yost and the Royals got just the opposite, meaning another long night for the Royals' bullpen.

"We found ourselves in a hole early, and we found a way to get their bats going, that's for sure. They've been swinging the bats really well. Ryan came in in his first big league start and got two outs, and I was thinking, 'OK.' Just kind of caved in on him from that point," Yost said.

For the most part, the Royals' relief unit pitched well. Vin Mazzaro followed Verdugo and allowed three runs in the top of the fifth, including a pair on Michael Saunders' home run and another on a triple by Ackley. But after Mazzaro exited, four Royals relievers combined for five scoreless innings.

Their efforts actually allowed for a comeback of sorts, as the Royals' offense was certainly not discouraged by the initial 6-0 hole.

Kansas City, which has lost three straight, scored three times in the bottom of the third inning. Jarrod Dyson and Alex Gordon smacked back-to-back triples to the same part of right-center field, the second producing a run. Gordon came home shortly thereafter on a single to center by Alcides Escobar.

Two batters later, Billy Butler singled to right field to score Escobar from third, and the Royals were down, 6-3.

A three-run fifth stretched Seattle's lead to six once again, but the Royals countered with three more runs in the seventh. Chris Getz made it 9-4 with an RBI groundout before Lorenzo Cain launched a pinch-hit, two-run home run -- his first of the season and first as a Royal -- to again cut the deficit to three.

"Definitely a good feeling to come off the bench and hit a home run," Cain said. "Definitely helped the team and tried to shorten the lead with hopes of making a comeback. But [we] fell a little short there, but that's how the ball bounces sometimes."

Tuesday marked the first time the Royals had allowed nine or more runs in consecutive games since May 6-7 to the Yankees and Red Sox, respectively.

"We scored six runs, and on most nights that's enough to win. I'm optimistic with the way that we're swinging the bats right now. I like our approach," Yost said. "Lorenzo Cain and [Salvador Perez] have given us a boost. If we can get the starting pitching settled down, we'll be OK."

It goes without saying that Seattle is happy with the last two games.

"When you set the tone early like that and give yourself a little breathing room, it allows our young players to go out and relax, and play and work to their true abilities a little easier," manager Eric Wedge said. "We've had some guys who've been struggling here and working to find it, so it's been nice to see them put some consistent days together."

Right-hander Blake Beavan (4-6) took advantage of the offensive help, picking up the win after being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma earlier on Tuesday to replace injured starter Erasmo Ramirez.

The Royals could use a lengthy outing from a starting pitcher after the previous two games and that's exactly what Yost is hoping for out of Bruce Chen on Wednesday.

"We have a start like we had [Monday] night in back-to-back starts, it impacts you for three or four days. What we need is for Bruce to go out and put a stop to it, give us some length," Yost said.

Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.