KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Say this, the Royals went down on a knockout blow Wednesday in a 6-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium.
Kendrys Morales crushed a two-out fastball from Aaron Crow for a two-run homer in the ninth inning for the winning runs.
Morales sent a 97-mph heater on a 1-2 pitch from Crow soaring 414 feet to center field and easily over the wall.
The loss ended the Royals‘ three-game winning streak and made their long-shot drive to secure a postseason berth for the first time in 28 years a little more of a long shot.
Crow (7-5) inherited a 4-4 tie to start the ninth but issued a one-out walk to Franklin Gutierrez after jumping ahead 1-2 in the count. Crow retired Kyle Seager on a fly to center before Morales unloaded.
Lucas Luetge, 1-2, got the victory after working two scoreless innings. Danny Farquhar breezed through a one-two-three ninth for his 12th save.
It was a tough loss.
The Royals erased a four-run deficit in the fourth against Seattle rookie Taijuan Walker but managed just one hit over the final five innings.
The loss dropped the Royals to 72-67 and left them, temporarily, five games behind Tampa Bay in the chase for the American League’s final wild-card berth. The Rays played later Wednesday at Los Angeles.
Seattle roughed up Royals starter Ervin Santana for four runs and seven hits in a season-worst 3 1/3 innings. His winless streak is now at six starts after giving up two runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth.
Walker breezed through three innings before blowing a four-run lead in the fourth inning. He worked through the fifth before the Mariners went to their bullpen.
The Royals flashed some defense after the Mariners mounted a two-out threat against Santana in the first inning. Seager flared a single to left and tried to score when Morales pulled a pulled a double past first.
First baseman Eric Hosmer took the throw from right fielder David Lough and threw home to Salvy Perez, who applied the tag for the final. Seager and the Mariners believed he avoided the tag.
Santana wasn’t as fortunate in the third.
Mike Zunino led off with a soft single to center before moving to third on Nick Franklin’s double into the right-center gap. Zunino scored on Brad Miller’s sacrifice fly to deep center.
Franklin Gutierrez’s soft chopper past first turned into an RBI single against a drawn-in infield for a 2-0 lead.
The Mariners came back for more in the fourth after Raul Ibanez led off with a double into the right-field corner. Santana walked Justin Smoak before Dustin Ackley’s grounder to second turned into a force.
A walk to Zunino loaded the bases before Franklin lined a single into center for a 3-0 lead — and that finished Santana.
The Royals called on Wade Davis for his first relief appearance of the year … with the bases loaded and one out. Davis’ second offering was a run-scoring wild pitch for a 4-0 lead.
Emilio Bonifacio started a four-run answer later in the inning with a leadoff walk. The Royals then got their first hit when Hosmer drove a single to right.
Billy Butler followed with an RBI single before fly outs by Mike Moustakas and Salvy Perez scored Hosmer. David Lough’s double moved Butler to third before Jarrod Dyson chopped a two-run single up the middle.
The Royals were even at 4-4.
Davis exited after Ibanez’s two-out double in the fifth. Lefty Francisley Bueno ended the inning by retiring Smoak on a grounder to third.