KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Bret Boone knows this could be a
make-or-break road trip for the Seattle Mariners if they want to remain in playoff contention.
Boone drove in three runs, and Edgar Martinez homered and scored three times as the Mariners beat the Kansas City Royals 14-7 Friday night.It was the first game of a 10-game trip for the Mariners, with the first seven against the Royals and Texas Rangers -- teams already out of the playoff hunt."These games are crucial,'' Boone said. "This road trip is crucial. We've got to beat the teams that we should beat. We need to have a great road trip. This is a good start. We can't take that team over there lightly or they'll kick your tail. We know that. Those guys can hit.''Freddy Garcia got his 15th win for the Mariners, who remained four games behind Anaheim in the AL wild-card race.Seattle moved within six games of first-place Oakland in the AL
West. Martinez and John Olerud each had three hits."It is good for us to pick up a game finally,'' Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. "It's been three weeks.''Carlos Beltran homered from both sides of the plate, only the fifth time that's happened in Royals history. Beltran was the last to do it on June 29, 2000, against Cleveland."I do the best I can,'' Beltran said. "We lose the game, but I
feel good. I did well at the plate and had productive at-bats.''Boone's first-inning single scored Desi Relaford, who had two hits to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Boone's sacrifice fly in a three-run third scored Martinez.Boone doubled home Martinez in a five-run fifth, when Royals
starter Shawn Sedlacek (3-5) was chased as the Mariners opened an
8-2 lead."That's more how we played last year consistently,'' Boone said. "It's nice to see us come out in the first inning and lead 2-0. We haven't been doing that. That's huge for us.''The fifth also included Dan Wilson's RBI single and Ichiro
Suzuki's sacrifice fly. Two runs scored on reliever Kris Wilson's wild throw, one of a season-high five errors by the Royals."This has to be the worst we've played since I've been here,''
manager Tony Pena said.Martinez, who snapped an 0-for-20 skid Monday, homered to start
the sixth. His single in the third scored Suzuki.It was the third time in 22 games the Mariners scored in double figures. They had scored three runs or less in 12 of their previous 18 games.The offensive outburst allowed Garcia to win, although he gave
up 12 hits and four runs in six innings. Garcia (15-10) is just 4-5
since the All-Star break.Beltran homered from the left side off Garcia to open the third.
He led off the seventh swinging right-handed against reliever John
Halama. Beltran has 23 home runs, which leads the club.The Royals, who have lost 10 of their past 11 home games, had 17
hits, but it was not enough to overcome the poor pitching. In his
past two starts, Sedlacek has allowed 13 earned runs on 16 hits and
six walks in 10 innings.Every Royals starter had at least one hit, with Raul Ibanez
getting three hits and driving in his team-leading 96th run.
Mike Sweeney went 1-for-4 and is hitting .343, which leads the AL.
Mariners CF Mike Cameron struck out three times, bringing
his league-leading total to 149. ... The Mariners have won 82
games, assuring them of their third straight winning season and the
eighth in club history. ... SS Angel Berroa, who made two errors,
became the 48th player used by the Royals this season. The club
record is 51 in 1995, 1997 and 1998. ... The Mariners have batted
around 14 times this season.