Teoscar Hernandez and Julio Rodriguez hit home runs and Luis Castillo pitched seven scoreless innings as the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Sunday afternoon to move into sole possession of first place in the American League West.
Andres Munoz struck out the side in the ninth for his 10th save of the season for the Mariners, who swept the three-game series and have won 11 of their past 12.
Nelson Velazquez homered for the Royals, who lost for the seventh time in their past eight games.
Castillo (11-7) won his fourth straight start. The right-hander allowed one hit, walked one and struck out six.
Maikel Garcia's two-out single to center in the third inning was the only hit off Castillo. Mariners right fielder Dominic Canzone robbed Garcia of extra bases with a diving catch in the sixth.
Royals rookie Alec Marsh (0-7) took the loss. The right-hander gave up three runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings, with two walks and nine strikeouts.
Hernandez, who hit two homers and had six RBIs in a 15-2 rout Saturday, led off the second inning with a blast to straightaway center. It was his 22nd of the season.
The Mariners extended their lead in the fifth as Josh Rojas drew a walk and stole second. With two outs, Rodriguez lined a two-run shot over the wall in left-center to make it 3-0. It was his 23rd blast of the campaign.
The Royals finally got on the board in the eighth against former teammate Gabe Speier. Michael Massey grounded a single to right and Velazquez followed with a two-run shot to right-center, his eighth of the season.
Matt Duffy reached base on an infield single on a ball deflected by Speier. After Kyle Isbel grounded into a forceout, the Mariners brought in Justin Topa, who caught Garcia looking at a called third strike. Bobby Witt Jr. grounded a single to left to send Isbel to third and then Witt stole second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Topa struck out Salvador Perez to end the inning.
—Field Level Media