Merrifield has 2 HR, 6 RBIs to lift Royals over Mariners 9-0

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SEATTLE (AP) — Whit Merrifield had two homers and a career-high six RBIs, Homer Bailey pitched into the eighth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Seattle Mariners 9-0 on Tuesday night.

The Royals jumped on struggling starter Yusei Kikuchi to get their third straight win. Kikuchi (3-5) allowed six runs in five innings.

Merrifield drove a three-run homer against Kikuchi in the fourth and added a two-run shot against Jesse Biddle in the eighth. Jorge Soler also homered for the Royals, and rookie Nicky Lopez had three hits.

Bailey (6-6) was crisp and efficient, allowing just one runner past second base with six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings. He stranded two baserunners in each of the first three innings, then retired 14 of the next 15 batters.

Alex Gordon opened the scoring with a two-run single — the Royals’ third straight hit to start the game — for a 2-0 lead. Soler pushed it to 3-0 with his 20th homer in the third and Merrifield made it 6-0 with his shot. Merrifield also had a sacrifice fly.

Kikuchi has had an unsettling June after a fairly positive start to his major league career. He’s now 0-4 since May 25 and has allowed eight home runs during that stretch.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: Adalberto Mondesi left the game with right groin tightness. Team officials said he’s day-to-day.

Mariners: Felix Hernandez was scheduled Tuesday to have an MRI on his right shoulder. The right-hander left his rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma on Friday due to fatigue and was scheduled for the scan of his right lat and the back of his shoulder after a visit with doctors Monday. Seattle manager Scott Servais said the development is not good news for the 33-year-old, who has been out since May 12. “It’s concerning enough to take new images of that (injured area) and not guess,” Servais said.

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