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Seattle1 0 1 2 0 0 2 0 0 6151
Kansas City1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 380
  W: M. Gonzales (4-0)   L: J. Junis (1-1)   S: A. Swarzak (2)
5:15 PM PT6:15 PM MT7:15 PM CT8:15 PM ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 PM MST7:15 PM EST7:45 PM VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 PM CT, April 9, 2019
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 10,366

Mariners need to give bullpen a break vs. Royals

When your offense is setting records for power, you can smile at little things, like asking your bullpen to throw eight innings of work.

That was the situation Monday night for Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais, who saw starter Felix Hernandez leave after one ineffective inning with virus-like symptoms against the Kansas City Royals.

But the Mariners hammered out five home runs in a 13-5 victory, giving them a major league record 32 in their first 12 games. So when asked how the long outing would affect his bullpen moving forward, Servais simply smiled and said, "We'll find out tomorrow, won't we?

"Our starters have to step up the rest of the series. We need Marco (Gonzales) and Yusei (Kikuchi) to go deep the next couple of days to reset (the bullpen). But we'll worry about that tomorrow and find a way to get through it."

Gonzales (3-0, 3.20 ERA) will take the ball Tuesday. He is 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA in three career starts against the Royals, with the most recent outing being a six-hit, one-run complete-game victory on June 29.

The Mariners have scored at least five runs in 11 of their 12 games and are the first team in the majors to reach 10 victories.

Jakob Junis (1-0, 4.63 ERA) will try to slow that attack and stop a seven-game losing streak for the Royals. He is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two career starts vs. Seattle -- allowing five hits in 15 innings -- and says he's not worried about how well the Mariners are hitting.

"I'll be trying to get (us) back on track," he said.

"We've lost a few in a row, but hopefully we can pull it together. I don't think about it too much. I just try to stick to our game plan. Me and (catcher Martin Maldonado) have done our scouting. We'll just try to stick to that the best we can, make good pitches and keep the ball in the ballpark."

One bat Junis might want to avoid is Edwin Encarnacion's.

The first baseman is the first Mariner to homer twice in an inning since Bret Boone and Mike Cameron both did it May 2, 2002, against the White Sox. Cameron tied a major league record with four homers in that game. The last player with a multi-homer inning was Mark Trumbo of the Angels on April 15, 2016, at Texas.

It's the second time that Encarnacion has homered twice in an inning, also accomplishing it on July 26, 2013, with Toronto. He's the fifth player to homer twice in an inning more than once, joining Alex Rodriguez, Jeff King, Andre Dawson and Willie McCovey.

The Royals have lost seven straight games, and the bullpen is a principal reason. Through nine games this season, the Royals bullpen has allowed 27 runs (all earned) on 36 hits in 27 1/3 innings, an 8.89 ERA.

"You see the mistakes they make are pretty much up in the zone or they're behind in the count," Royals manager Ned Yost said Monday, specifically referring to Tim Hill and Kevin McCarthy, although the sentiment applies to anyone in his bullpen.

"They're not getting hit early in the count. They're getting hit when they're behind in the count."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 9, 2019

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