Rodriguez has 5 hits, 5 RBIs and go-ahead 3-run shot in the eighth as Mariners beat Royals 6-4

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Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez celebrates after hitting a three-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Julio Rodriguez had a career-high five hits to go with five RBIs, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning, and the blundering Seattle Mariners escaped Kansas City with a 6-4 victory over the Royals on Thursday.

Rodriguez, who had four hits the previous night, had three singles and a triple to go with his home run while joining Alex Rodriguez, Mike Cameron and Ruppert Jones in select company. The homer was the 20th of the season for Rodriguez, who already had stolen 30 bases, making the 22-year-old phenom just the fourth Mariners player in the 20-30 club.

Cal Raleigh added a homer in the ninth inning to give Seattle's bullpen some breathing room.

Isaiah Campbell (3-0) earned the win for the Mariners with a scoreless seventh inning. Trent Thornton tossed a perfect eighth and Matt Brash breezed through the ninth inning for his fourth save.

Carlos Hernandez (1-8) took the loss when Rodriguez he pounded the first pitch he threw over the left-field bullpen.

Nelson Velazquez homered for the fourth time in seven games for Kansas City, and MJ Melendez, Michael Massey and Freddy Fermin also drove in runs for the Royals during a fitting finish to a wacky four-game series.

Each team had a player thrown out at the plate Thursday. Another was cut down on the basepaths, one was picked off first base and Seattle had a runner called out after he inexplicably started back to the dugout when an outfielder dropped his fly ball.

Angel Zerpa somehow kept the Royals in the game through the first four innings, stranding runners in each but surrendering just one run. And it was still 1-0 when Velazquez went deep in the fourth inning to tie the game.

The Mariners pulled back ahead in the sixth when Max Castillo walked the first two batters and Rodriguez scorched a liner to left. The ball cleared Melendez, who had misjudged its angle of approach, and wound up at the outfield wall. Cade Marlow scored easily but Dominic Canzone was thrown out trying to score from first.

It wasn't the first baserunning mistake.

Maikel Garcia was thrown out at the plate on Witt's double in the bottom of the inning, though the Royals kept the offense rolling. Massey tied the game with a single, Velazquez added a single and Melendez a go-ahead double, before Fermin added a sacrifice fly — with the inning coming to a close when Melendez was thrown out at third base.

The biggest baserunning blunder came in the seventh, though.

Dylan Moore hit a flyball that Melendez raced in and laid out to catch. Moore thought he got it cleanly and, after touching first base, turned around and headed for the Seattle dugout. But the ball actually had bounced out of Melendez's glove, and he alertly threw to first base, where the umpires ruled that Moore had given himself up.

Fortunately for him, Rodriguez was there to rescue the Mariners with his no-doubt shot the very next inning.


Mariners: RHP Eduard Bazardo was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and RHP Ryder Ryan was optioned to the same club. Bazardo was acquired from the Orioles on Aug. 1 for minor leaguer Logan Rinehart.

Royals: Kowar was recalled from Triple-A Omaha for the fourth time and RHP James McArthur optioned to the same club.


Mariners: RHP Bryan Woo (forearm inflammation) threw a bullpen session before the game. Seattle manager Scott Servais said if all goes well, Woo would be activated around the time he is eligible to come off the injury list on Aug. 20.

Royals: 1B Nick Pratto (left groin strain) planned to begin a rehab assignment with Omaha on Thursday night. ... LHP Jake Brentz (elbow surgery) got two outs in his rehab assignment at the Arizona Complex League on Wednesday night. It was the first time Brentz had pitched since April 29, 2022.


Mariners: RHP Bryce Miller (7-4, 4.04 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series in Houston on Friday night.

Royals: Kansas City begins a nine-game trip the same night against the Cubs, with LHP Cole Ragans (3-4, 4.21) starting the series opener at Wrigley Field.