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Pineda goes six strong innings for M's vs. Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Michael Pineda is giving the Seattle Mariners hope they have found a formidable pitcher to pair with Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez atop their rotation.

Pineda, a 22-year-old with a 99 mph fastball, held Kansas City to one run and three hits over six innings, Brendan Ryan had a tiebreaking two-run single and the Mariners beat the Royals 3-2 Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak.

Pineda (2-1) has a 2.33 ERA in three starts, while holding opponents to 13 hits and striking out 16 in 19 1/3 innings.

"I can't say enough about this guy," Ryan said. "From the end of spring training, I've said this guy has a legit shot to be the rookie of the year. You see his stuff. You make guys look the way they do on all three pitches, he's outstanding and he's only going to get better. ... He's got a great chance to be something special."

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Jamey Wright pitched two hitless innings, while walking two. Brandon League gave up a run in the ninth on Wilson Betemit's single, but finished for his third save.

"Pineda's fastball is as good as I've ever seen," said Wright, a 13-year major league veteran. "He throws strikes and attacks hitters with it. His breaking stuff is only to get better. When you're throwing 97-98 [mph] there's so much more you can get away with. He's going to be good. Once his breaking stuff gets even better, he has a chance to be really special."

The Royals entered the game leading the American League with a .279 average, but managed just five hits, matching their season low.

"The kid's got electric stuff," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Pineda. "We weren't chasing pitches outside the zone. The kid's got a live arm. It was our first look at him. He's got a good fastball and breaking ball and he threw strikes. He's in there throwing 95 with his fastball and with a sharp breaking ball."

Ryan laced a single to left in the seventh to score Justin Smoak and Miguel Olivo to snap a 1-all tie. Smoak led off the inning with a single and advanced to second when Olivo ended an 0-for-27 skid with a single. Ryan Langerhans' sacrifice bunt advanced both runners.

Blake Wood then replaced Jeff Francis and Ryan brought home both runners with a hit on a 3-1 pitch. The Mariners won for only the third time in 14 games.

"I think I can safely speak for everybody we're not having fun right now," Ryan said. "I'm not having any fun. This is not how I wanted to start out the season, personally and as a team. We're going to get better. Hopefully things will start falling and start going our way, because they haven't."

Francis (0-1) is still searching for his first victory with the Royals. He was charged with three runs on six hits, while walking none and striking out one in 6 1/3 innings.

Jeff Francoeur led off the Royals' fifth with a one-hop double off the right-field fence, the only extra-base hit off Pineda. He advanced to third on Betemit's fly out to center. Brayan Pena's sacrifice fly scored Francoeur for the only run Pineda would allow.

"We knew he threw hard and then we saw he had 99 [mph] on the second pitch of the game," Francoeur said. "We had to give ourselves a chance to swing the bats."

The Mariners tied it in the sixth with Ichiro Suzuki starting the inning with a double down the right-field line. He scored on Milton Bradley's two-out triple to right. That snapped a Mariners' 14-inning scoreless drought.

Royals left-fielder Alex Gordon singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, the longest active streak in the majors and one game shy of his career best.

Notes

RHP David Aardsma, who saved 31 games last season for the Mariners, will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Tacoma. Aardsma had hip surgery in January and is on the disabled list. ... The Royals took three of four from the Mariners and are the only team in the American League that has not lost a series this season.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Seattle

B. Ryan
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Kansas City

W. Betemit
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4110002 .254
Chone Figgins, 3B4000001 .143
Milton Bradley, LF4011010 .241
Jack Cust, DH4010021 .196
Justin Smoak, 1B4120001 .300
Miguel Olivo, C4110002 .156
Ryan Langerhans, CF3000001 .143
Brendan Ryan, SS3012001 .238
Jack Wilson, 2B3000001 .188
Totals3337303  
Batting
2B - Ichiro Suzuki (4, Francis)
3B - Milton Bradley (1, Francis)
SH - Ryan Langerhans (1)
RBI - Milton Bradley (6), Brendan Ryan 2 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Milton Bradley (2)
CS - Miguel Olivo (1, 2nd base by Francis/B. Pena)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Figgins-J. Wilson-Smoak, Wright-Ryan-Smoak
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Michael Pineda (W,2-1) 6311450 2.33
Jamey Wright (H,3) 2000210 0.00
Brandon League (S,3) 1211000 4.76
IBB - Butler by Michael Pineda
Pitches-Strikes - Michael Pineda 94-62, Jamey Wright 31-15, Brandon League 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Michael Pineda 5-6, Jamey Wright 4-0, Brandon League 2-1
Batters Faced - Michael Pineda 23, Jamey Wright 7, Brandon League 5
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jarrod Dyson, CF2000211 .000
Chris Getz, 2B3000012 .269
Alex Gordon, LF4010012 .365
Billy Butler, 1B3000101 .352
Kila Ka'aihue, DH3110112 .174
Jeff Francoeur, RF3110101 .328
Wilson Betemit, 3B4011012 .371
    Mike Aviles, PR0000000 .200
Brayan Pena, C3001002 .240
Alcides Escobar, SS2010110 .233
Totals2725266  
Batting
2B - Jeff Francoeur (3, Pineda)
SF - Brayan Pena (1)
SH - Chris Getz (4)
RBI - Wilson Betemit (8), Brayan Pena (2)
2-OUT RBI - Wilson Betemit (1)
SB - Jarrod Dyson (5, 2nd base off Wright/Olivo), Mike Aviles (3, 2nd base off League/Olivo)
CS - Alcides Escobar (2, 2nd base by Pineda/Olivo)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Chris Getz (2, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeff Francis (L,0-1) 6.1633010 3.00
Blake Wood 2.2100020 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Francis 97-60, Blake Wood 34-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Francis 8-10, Blake Wood 3-3
Batters Faced - Jeff Francis 25, Blake Wood 9
Game Information
Attendance - 19424
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Ted Barrett