Chris Young delivers a gem as Mariners beat Royals, 3-1

Staff writerMay 10, 2014 

Seattle Mariners veteran Chris Young continued his remarkable career renaissance Saturday night by outpitching Kansas City phenom Yordano Ventura in a 3-1 victory at Safeco Field.

Young improved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.63 by limiting the Royals to one tainted run in eight innings before Fernando Rodney closed out the victory with a scoreless ninth inning.

Young underwent a series of shoulder operations in recent years that threatened to end his career before agreeing last year, as a last resort, to a procedure that addressed a nerve issue.

And now look.

Young never allowed more than one runner in any inning while striking out three and walking none.

Ventura, 2-2, flashed the power arm that has generated such attention throughout the game but surrendered homers to Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley before exiting after a one-out walk in the seventh inning.

The Mariners threatened for more in that inning after Robinson Cano delivered a two-out single against Tim Collins.

The runners tried to advance when Collins bounced a pitch, and the throw by catcher Salvy Perez went to second. Cano was called safe, but the Royals appealed — and the call was overturned.

Turned out, it didn’t matter.

Rodney worked around a two-out single in the ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities. The Mariners have won 12 of 16 since ending an eight-game skid.

The Mariners mounted a one-out threat in the second inning when John Buck sliced a single to right and went to second on a wild pitch. But Ackley flied to center, and Michael Saunders grounded to first.

Young retired the first seven Royals before Mike Moustakas sent a soft one-out drive to right in the third inning. It should have been a single, but Saunders stumbled and fell in pursuit.

Moustakas wound up with a triple, and he scored when Alcides Escobar followed with a sacrifice fly to deep left.

Saunders finished the inning but didn’t return for the fourth because of what the Mariners later characterized as a hyper-extended left knee. Stefen Romero replaced Saunders in right.

Umpire Scott Barry also left in the fourth inning because of an apparent injury to his right wrist after being hit by a pitch. Crew chief Jeff Nelson replaced Barry behind the plate, and play continued with a three-man crew.

The Mariners took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Smoak followed Corey Hart’s leadoff single by crushing a 96-mph fastball — a 374-foot drive to right for a two-run homer.

Ackley extended the lead to 3-1 by rocking a two-out homer to right in the sixth. He turned on a 1-1 off-speed pitch and sent it over the right-field wall for his second homer of the year.

bob.dutton@thenewstribune.com; blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners; @TNT_Mariners

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