With afternoon rain in the forecast Monday, the Mariners took the unusual step of moving up the start time for their game against Kansas City by one hour.
This is what happens when you mess with Mother Nature.
Veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo gave up four runs in the first inning and, after the Mariners pulled themselves back into the game, lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski gave up six runs in the third inning.
The rain did come and halted play after the seventh inning with Kansas City leading 14-3. That’s how it ended.
Gallardo worked himself into one-out trouble in the first inning by hitting Paulo Orlando with a 1-2 pitch. Lorenzo Cain then drew a walk before Eric Hosmer grounded a double off the glove of second baseman Taylor Motter.
Salvy Perez’s two-run double past third made it 3-0. Brandon Moss followed with an RBI single.
"The first time out, you’re excited to get out there," Gallardo said, "but you also have to control your emotions and the excitement. It started when I hit Orlando. I tried to throw a curve, and it just slipped out of my hand.
"Then I let everything get on me a little bit."
The Mariners got one run back in their first on Jean Segura’s double but got nothing more despite putting runners at first and second with no outs.
Nick Vincent replaced Gallardo to start the second inning and got two quick outs before yielding a homer to Paulo Orlando.
The Mariners clawed back to 5-3 on Segura’s two-run homer in the second inning, but Kansas City rocked Rzepczynski for six runs in the third inning. Perez and Pete O’Brien hit two-run homers.
"He got ahead in the count on a lot of guys," manager Scott Servais said. "It was just a lot of bad pitches. Balls up in the middle of the plate with two strikes, and they didn’t miss them."
PLAY OF THE GAME: Gallardo’s rough first inning would have been worse if not for two fine defensive plays.
First, third baseman Kyle Seager made a backhand stop on O’Brien’s sharp grounder and turned it into an out at second base. Catcher Mike Zunino then ended the inning by picking off Cheslor Cuthbert at first base.
PLUS: Segura had a RBI double in the first inning and a two-run homer in the second inning. He lined a single to center in his third at-bat…reliever Dan Altavilla worked a one-two-three fifth inning with one strikeout…
MINUS: Gallardo was bad, but Rzepczynski was worse. Gallardo gave up four runs on three hits, two walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch. But he kept the ball in the park. Rzepczynski didn’t walk anyone but he surrendered a pair of two-run homers while allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits. He also threw two wild pitches…right-hander Rob Whalen, who appears slotted for the Triple-A Tacoma rotation, gave up three runs in the seventh after pitching a scoreless sixth.
STAT PACK: The 14 walks the Mariners received Sunday in a 13-2 victory over San Diego would have tied a club regular-season record for a nine-inning game. The Mariners got 14 walks on June 15, 1991 in a 15-2 victory over Detroit at the Kingdome. Randy Johnson walked six in six innings that day but got the victory.
SPRING BATTLES: Utilityman candidate Taylor Motter, slowed recently by a sore back, started at second base. He had a rough first inning. Hosmer grounder skipped off Motter’s glove for an RBI double.
Motter then flied to left with the bases loaded for the final out in the bottom of the inning and struck out again with the bases loaded in the third inning.
QUOTABLE: "I’m glad we moved it up," Servais said. "Our guys got their pitches in. There were not a lot of great pitches made today early in the game, but it is early. It’s just one of those days."
SHORT HOPS: Jarrod Dyson went 1-for-3 with a run in his first game against his former club…the Mariners scored all of their runs in the first two innings against ex-M Jason Vargas…the Mariners were hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners. The Royals were 8-for-11 with RISP and left just four…Gallardo’s start came on his 31st birthday…it was 59 degrees when Gallardo delivered the first pitch at 12:09 p.m.
UP NEXT: Felix Hernandez makes his spring debut when the Mariners make their first Cactus League road trip Monday for a 12:05 p.m. Pacific time game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Glendale.
The Mariners are also expected to use Andrew Moore, Dylan Unsworth, Micah Owings, Paul Fry and Jean Machi. The White Sox list rookie right-hander Michael Kopech as their starter.
Kopech, 20, was a key acquisition in the offseason trade that sent left-hander Chris Sale to Boston.
DAYS LEFT UNTIL OPENING DAY: 34
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners