KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 4: Will Smith #53 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium June 4, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Royals Vs. Mariners Preview: Felix Hernandez, Will Smith Take Mound In 4th Game Of Series

The Royals line-up must overtake Cy Young candidate Felix Hernandez to win the fourth and final game of the series.

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Will Smith Provides Kansas City Royals With Small Glimmer Of Hope

It wasn't an All-Star performance. It wasn't a winning effort. In fact, it was a rather unmemorable pitching line taken on its own. But what Will Smith provided for the Kansas City Royals in a losing effort to the Seattle Mariners was a glimpse of light that someone could at least go several innings and keep the Royals in the game.

Smith threw just over six innings and allowed four earned runs while walking two and striking out five. If that sounds uninspired, you'd be right. But you'd also be forgetting the fact that the Royals were bleeding this entire week with pitchers who couldn't make it out of the second inning and to get through the fifth was a major achievement. Smith made his Major League debut earlier this year, but it's clear he's more comfortable this time around.

"He commanded the ball much better," manager Ned Yost said. "He kept the ball down, changed speeds really well, didn't make near as many mistakes over the course of the game and did a nice job of getting us into the seventh inning. If we weren't facing Felix Hernandez, we were still in the game. It was 4-1 at that time. He did a nice job of keeping us in the game, going deep in the game, giving us a chance."

Even Smith himself realized that he was a different pitcher than his first time in the Majors, when he started three games for the Royals to go 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA.

"I was able to slow the game down this time," Smith said. "Last time I was up here, the game was going so fast for me. I was able to take some deep breaths before my pitches and execute."

Smith had only allowed four earned runs in his last four minor league starts, so it's clear he was pitching his best baseball of the season when the Royals called him back up. With more experience, Smith is going to be able to hone his natural talent into something the Royals can use.

It might not be much but the Royals will take anything they can get at this point.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toLookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals Vs. Mariners Final: Seattle Cruises Past Kansas City, 6-1

The Seattle Mariners had little trouble getting by the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium as the visitors took the victory with a final score of 6-1.

Jesus Montero led the Mariners offense as he registered four RBI's on the day and was triple away from completing the cycle. Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez was credited with the win as he pitched eight full innings and gave up eight hits, but just one earned run.

For the Royals, Chris Getz is credited with KC's lone RBI. Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez had two hits each, but that was the extent of Kansas City's day at the plate. Pitcher Will Smith gets hit with the loss as he went six-and-one-third innings on the mound and gave up eight hits and four earned runs. He did strike out five Seattle batters in the game.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to Lookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Mariners Vs. Royals: Thursday Lineups

The lineups for the final game of the Kansas City Royals four-game set with the Seattle Mariners, a Thursday afternoon get-away game, are out:

Kansas City:

1. Alex Gordon (L) LF

2. Alcides Escobar (R) SS

3. Billy Butler (R) DH

4. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B

5. Lorenzo Cain (R) RF

6. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B

7. Salvador Perez (R) C

8. Chris Getz (L) 2B

9. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF

Seattle:

1. Dustin Ackley (L) 2B

2. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF

3. Casper Wells (R) LF

4. Jesus Montero (R) DH

5. Kyle Seager (L) 3B

6. Justin Smoak (S) 1B

7. John Jaso (L) C

8. Michael Saunders (L) CF

9. Brendan Ryan (R) SS

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to Lookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Kansas City Royals Recall Reliever Francisley Bueno To Help Tired Bullpen

The Kansas City Royals are making daily transactions between the major league level and AAA Omaha in order to keep their pitching supply fresh after the Seattle Mariners have mowed through nearly every starter and reliever the Royals have placed on the mound. The latest pitcher to be recalled from AAA is Francisley Bueno, who manager Ned Yost says will help out a taxed bullpen.

"What we like about him is that he throws strikes. He competes and throws strikes. And he's left-handed," Yost said. "We used Tim Collins [Tuesday] night for two innings, and we've got [Jose] Mijares, who's ready to go. [Mijares] threw three days in a row and just had two days off. He's ready to go. So we've got a pretty good tandem down there. With a bunch of left-handed hitters in [Seattle's] lineup, we'll be able to mix and match a little better with [Bueno] down there right now."

Bueno pitched in just two games for the Royals in late June in his only brief stint with the club this year.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toLookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals Vs. Mariners Preview: Felix Hernandez, Will Smith Take Mound In 4th Game Of Series

It's clear that the Kansas City Royals are not going to be able to beat the Seattle Mariners with pitching at this point in the four game series. The Mariners scored 9 runs in each of the first two games to take the first half of the set at Kauffman Stadium, so the Royals decided to punch back last night in an exciting 8-7 win. it was another poor pitching performance from the Royals staff, but a win is a win at this point for a young team in need of momentum.

Today is going to be the hardest task yet for the Royals line-up with Felix Hernandez on the mound. Hernandez is 7-5 with a 2.92 ERA on the season and a Cy Young Award could be in his future. The Royals called up Will Smith for another run at the Majors this season from AAA Omaha to take the start. He had a 1-2 record with a 9.00 ERA his first go-around this year.

SEATTLE MARINERS @ KANSAS CITY ROYALS

TV: Fox Sports Kansas City
Time: 1:10 CT
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City
Radio: KCSP - 610 AM

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toLookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Will Smith Hopes To Bring Momentum From Omaha To Kansas City Royals Rotation

Will Smith already had his Major League debut in 2012 with the Kansas City Royals. While it was memorable for the sake of earning the honor of making his big league dreams come true, he's hoping the second time around yields stronger results. He'll have a chance to show that on Thursday for the Royals against the Seattle Mariners for a team searching for any answer in the starting rotation.

Smith is 1-2 on the season with a 9.00 ERA in three total starts for KC earlier this season. If that doesn't sound inspiring, it wasn't for Smith either, who realizes that he's learned quite a bit since his last time in Kansas City. Allowing six home runs in 14 innings is not going to do the job, and Smith is ready to turn the corner.

"I learned a lot [at Omaha]," Smith said. "This time was a little bit easier. You walk into the clubhouse, you've played with these guys before, not just in Spring Training. It's good to see everybody. You feel better about walking into the clubhouse now. Now you know what you have to do to win when you go out there."

Smith is 4-4 with a 3.61 ERA for Omaha in 2012, but the good news is that he's on a roll. Smith has only allowed four earned runs in his last four starts, and he's pitching the best he has all season. The Royals could use a dose of that momentum to stop the bleeding for a team that's lost three in a row and eight of their last 10.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to Lookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals Vs. Mariners Final: Kansas City Edges Seattle, 8-7

Despite their subpar records, the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners played a thriller on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium, edging the visitors by a final score of 8-7.

Billy Butler's walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning sealed the game for the Royals. Butler registered three hits in his three at-bats with his homerun representing his only RBI on the day.

Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain each registered two RBI's in the game.

On the mound, Bruce Chen got the start for Kansas City but got roughed up pretty good. He went five-and-a-third innings and gave up seven hits and four RBI's while striking out six Seattle Mariners batters in the process.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to Lookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Mariners Vs. Royals: Wednesday Lineups

Bruce Chen will look to even up his record at 8-8 tonight, as the Kansas City Royals play host to the Seattle Mariners.

Chen has pitched poorly ever since the calender flipped to July, allowing six earned runs in each of his three July starts so far. Chen's last win came on June 26, when he allowed one run on five hits in seven innings against the Rays.

Lineups for both the Royals and Mariners have been announced, and they are as follows:

Seattle Mariners

Dustin Ackley, 2B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Casper Wells, LF
Jesus Montero, DH
Justin Smoak, 1B
Kyle Seager, 3B
Miguel Olivo, C
Michael Saunders, CF
Brendan Ryan, SS

Kevin Millwood, SP

Kansas City Royals

Alex Gordon, LF
Alcides Escobar, SS
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Billy Butler, DH
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Brayan Pena, C
Chris Getz, 2B

Bruce Chen, SP

At the least, Yuniesky Betancourt isn't hitting in front of Mike Moustakas tonight, so that's an improvement.

For more on the Royals, head over to Royals Review.

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Royals Vs. Mariners Preview: Game Time, TV Schedule

The Kansas City Royals are looking for any signs of life after the MLB All-Star break in the hopes of turning the tables on their current losing ways and finding momentum near season's end. As for now, the 2012 campaign has largely been disappointing in the beginning and now in the present with a stretch run toward being competitive around the late spring. For the Seattle Mariners, they're hoping to keep rolling over Ned Yost's team.

Jonathan Sanchez was hammered in the second inning. Ryan Verdugo was yesterday's starter and failed to complete the same inning. Today Bruce Chen (7-8, 5.50 ERA) hopes to stop the bleeding for a Royals team that could use a complete game shutout like a drink of water in the desert.

On the hill for the Mariners today is veteran Kevin Millwood (3-7, 3.71 ERA). The Royals have already allowed 18 runs in the first two games of the series.

Here's the info you need to catch today's game:

SEATTLE MARINERS @ KANSAS CITY ROYALS

When: 7:10pm CT

Where: Kauffman Stadium in KC

TV: Fox Sports KC

Radio: 610 KCSP

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toLookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals GM Dayton Moore Hopes Jonathan Sanchez Considers AAA Placement

The Kansas City Royals had to make a move. They simply had to do something. The fan base was clamoring for some sort of response concerning Jonathan Sanchez and the consistently poor outings every time he was on the mound. The latest was a one-plus inning meltdown that forced Ned Yost to go to the next starting pitching in line to eat up enough innings so the bullpen wasn't ruined for a week.

"The results just weren't very good," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "It was just outing to outing, we kept evaluating it and we just felt a change is required at this point."

However, it's also clear that Moore is hoping his experiment in trading for Sanchez is not quite over yet. The stuff is there. He's thrown a no-hitter. He can still get a hitter to swing and miss. The potential referenced by every baseball scout and writer since Sanchez came to the big leagues is still present -- if only he could hone it. It's the same "if only" questions that have hovered around him to one degree or another since he joined the Majors with the San Francisco Giants.

"I hope he does, because we still believe in him," Moore said. "He's a terrific citizen who works extremely hard. Body language is what it is and I can understand some of the things that maybe frustrate some of our fan base and some other people, but knowing the person ... I'd love to have him in Omaha if he so desired and try to work through some things. Put it this way: If he were released by another organization, we would be pursuing him to go to Triple-A."

That's the choice that Sanchez has to make. If he refuses, then he's likely to be traded or even outright released. It would be the ultimate buy-low trade, so the Royals aren't likely to get much, if anything, in return for him. But pitching is at a premium for most teams, so even a horrific 2012 season might not deter someone from taking a shot at Sanchez.

Still the Royals are hoping that something can work out here for Sanchez to head to AAA and work out his mechanics, to develop some consistency, to shake the pressure. Anything at this point would help and the Royals need something to turn around their fortunes in the rotation.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Moore isn't exactly known for his deft touch at trading and evaluating Major League talent. If Sanchez and/or Ryan Verdugo can show some sort of return, then at least it wouldn't be a total disaster. At this point, it's a complete head-scratcher.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toLookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals Vs. Mariners: Ryan Verdugo Roughed Up In Debut As Kansas City Falls 9-6

Ryan Verdugo certainly won't forget his Major League debut.

The rookie left-hander allowed six earned runs over 1 2/3 innings and the Royals couldn't come back, falling 9-6 to the Mariners on Tuesday night in Kansas City. Verdugo had allowed the six runs on eight hits and two walks before finally being pulled and forcing the bullpen to stretch itself again.

Verdugo was starting because the originally-planned starter, Everett Teaford, had to throw five innings of relief on Monday after a poor start from Jonathan Sanchez.

The Royals scored three runs in each the third and seventh, but couldn't climb out of the hole.

Alex Gordon went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored as the only Kansas City player with multiple hits. Billy Butler went 1-for-4 with an RBI, while Lorenzo Cain hit a pinch-hit two-run home run. Vin Mazzaro allowed three earned runs over 2 1/3 innings of relief.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toLookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals Vs. Mariners: Seattle Scores 3 In First Inning In Ryan Verdugo's Debut

Ryan Verdugo's Major League debut has not begun as hoped.

The Mariners scored three runs in the opening frame in Kansas City, as the Royals continue to dig themselves into holes.

It started out well for Verdugo, earning a groundout and popout from the first two batters. But Casper Wells hit a single, Jesus Montero followed with a double to score Wells, and Justin Smoak hit a two run blast to give Seattle a 3-0 lead. Verdugo then walked a batter and allowed a single before a popout finally got him out of his first Major League inning.

Everett Teaford was supposed to pitch Tuesday, but he threw five innings of reliefs on Monday after Jonathan Sanchez was banged around.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toLookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals Vs. Mariners: Ryan Verdugo Makes Major League Debut

The Kansas City Royals are trying their hardest to get back some momentum against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. However, the original announced pitcher for Tuesday's game, Everett Teaford, will not be pitching tonight as he threw five innings in relief on Monday.

The ball will be handed off to left-hander Ryan Verdugo, who will make his major-league debut against the Mariners. In 15 starts with Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers, Verdugo went 6-2, with an ERA of 3.58. In 88 total innings pitched, Verdugo struck out 72 batters, but also walked 44 and allowed 14 home runs.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Royals are rearranging the bottom half of the lineup for Tuesday's game. Jarrod Dyson will be starting in centerfield in place of Lorenzo Cain and Chris Getz will start at second base in place of Yuniesky Betancourt.

The rest of the Royals' lineup is as follows.

1. Alex Gordon (L) LF
2. Alcides Escobar (R) SS
3. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B
4. Billy Butler (R) DH
5. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
6. Jeff Francoeur (R) RF
7. Salvador Perez (R) C
8. Chris Getz (L) 2B
9. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF

The game is scheduled for an 8:15 p.m. ET start with television coverage provided by Fox Sports Kansas City with radio coverage provided by KCSP 610 AM.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to Lookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals Manager Ned Yost Tried To Make Best Of Bad Pitching Situation Against Mariners

The Kansas City Royals were already thin in the starting rotation before the 2012 season even began. Now with several players injured for the season and others turning out as disappointments, the Royals rotation is now a disaster. Last night's one-plus inning performance by Jonathan Sanchez only further decimated a staff that's been beaten up, and Ned Yost said he tried to make the right call last night with the choices given to him against the Seattle Mariners.

Faced with the replacement of Sanchez before the second inning was over, Yost turned to Everett Teaford, Tuesday night's starter, to throw starter-level innings on Monday night.

"There was not really much we could do," Yost said. "I knew that we were either going to blow the bullpen out or blow tomorrow's starting pitcher out, so we took the second route. I knew that we would find a way to get somebody else up here to start tomorrow, but I wanted to just try to get through this game with [Louis] Coleman and with Teaford, and they both did a good job. They ended up throwing 7 2/3 innings, so they saved the 'pen tonight so they're in great shape for tomorrow."

The pen continues to keep things together, but that's not how this team should be structured at this point. The Royals really need the young arms to come through and a dynamic ace this coming offseason to turn things around. The Nationals have shown what can happen when a team loads up on arms for a line-up already in place. Now the Royals have to do the same. Until then, it's likely to be this same story for the rest of the 2012 season.

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toLookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals Vs. Mariners: Tuesday Game Preview, TV Info And More

The Royals look to respond to their 9-4 loss on Monday night with Tuesday's game against the Seattle Mariners. Fortunately for Kansas City, the Mariners tend to be a bit inconsistent with their run production, and the likelihood of them scoring anything close to nine runs again on Tuesday is slim.

Not only have the Mariners been inconsistent, but they don't exactly have premier pitching on Tuesday with Blake Beavan (3-6, 5.92 ERA) taking the mound on Tuesday, giving the Royals a fighting chance for a big night at the plate for themselves.

Everett Teaford (1-3, 4.98 ERA) gets the start for Kansas City.

Check out the game schedule and broadcast information right here:

Date/Time: Tuesday, July 17, 8:10 p.m. ET

TV: Fox Sports Kansas City

Online streaming: MLB.tv

Read more on the Royals at Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to Lookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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Royals Vs. Mariners: Early Barrage Dooms Royals In 9-4 Loss

Jonathan Sanchez couldn't get out of the second inning, allowing seven earned runs over 1 1/3 innings as the Royals fell 9-4 in Seattle on Monday.

The five runs Sanchez allowed in the first inning came via the home run. With the loss, Sanchez fell to 1-6 on the season. Kansas City responded with three runs in the bottom of the third, but couldn't find much offense the rest of the way.

Alex Gordon led the Royals at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Eric Hosmer went 1-for-3 with two talks, an RBI and a run scored, while Mike Moustakas went 2-for-4.

Out of the bullpen, Louis Coleman allowed one earned runs over 2 2/3 innings of relief, and Everett Teaford gave up one earned run over the final five innings.

For more on the Royals, check out Royals Review. For all news and information regarding the Seattle Mariners, please visit Lookout Landing. and all your MLB news is available atBaseball Nation.

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Royals Vs. Mariners: Crucial Week For Kansas City Outfielders

With the trade deadline 15 days away, the Royals need to evaluate who will make room for top prospect Wil Myers.

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