Junis, Royals beat Mariners 9-1 for doubleheader split

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Rookie Jakob Junis would like to stay a little longer next time.

Junis pitched eight sharp innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Seattle Mariners 9-1 to split their doubleheader Sunday.

Nelson Cruz homered twice and drove in four runs as the Mariners held off the Royals 8-7 in the first game.

Whit Merrifield homered in both games for the Royals.

Junis (4-2), who was added to Kansas City’s roster as the extra 26th man for the twinbill, retired his final 19 batters after giving up an RBI double to Danny Espinosa in the second inning.

Junis walked none and struck out a career-high seven.

This was Junis’ sixth time up this season, twice as the 26th man, but after the outing he was sent back to Triple-A Omaha.

Melky Cabrera hit a three-run homer off Erasmo Ramirez (4-4) during a four-run third inning. It was Cabrera’s first home run since the Royals acquired him in a July 30 trade with the Chicago White Sox. Cabrera also had an RBI double.

Eric Hosmer homered and drove in three runs for the Royals. Seattle pitchers have allowed an AL-high 172 home runs.

Ramirez was charged with five runs on eight hits, including three homers, in five-plus innings.

Lorenzo Cain got six hits in the doubleheader, scored three runs, drove two and stole a base for the Royals.

Cruz, Danny Valencia and Kyle Seager homered in the first two innings as the Mariners took a 7-0 lead off Danny Duffy (7-7) in the opener.

Cruz, who leads the AL with 84 RBI, hit a three-run drive in a four-run second. He hit his 24th home run in the seventh off Scott Alexander, a shot estimated at 465 feet to center. It was Cruz’s 22nd multihomer game, his first this season.

Marco Gonzalez, who was making his Mariners’ debut since being acquired in a July 21 with St. Louis, failed to make it through the fifth. James Pazos (3-3) won in relief and Edwin Diaz posted his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Segura led off the game with a walk and scored on Valencia’s 13th home run. Seager homered with two outs in the first.

Merrifield hit a two-run homer in the third. Mike Moustakas hit his 31st homer, a two-run drive, in the eighth.

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