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Mariners 6, Royals 0: Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight shutout innings as host Seattle eliminated Kansas City from the American League wild card race.
Mike Zunino hit two solo homers and Kyle Seager hit a two-run double as the Mariners blanked the Royals for the second consecutive night. Kansas City has slipped five games behind the Cleveland Indians with four contests remaining.
Iwakuma (14-6) struck out nine and allowed four hits and one walk to lower his ERA to 2.66, slightly behind the 2.64 of AL co-leaders Bartolo Colon of Oakland and Anibal Sanchez of Detroit. The 32-year-old native of Tokyo has compiled 23 scoreless innings over his last three starts.
Zunino broke a scoreless tie with a fifth-inning blast off Ervin Sanchez (9-10) and Seager doubled into the right-field corner later in the frame. The Mariners added a run in the seventh when Brad Miller laid down a bunt single and reliever Will Smith’s errant throw to first allowed Dustin Ackley to score from third.
Michael Saunders and Zunino capped the scoring in the eighth with back-to-back two-out homers off Smith.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Mariners 2B Nick Franklin was hitless in three at-bats to halt an eight-game hitting streak. … Sanchez gave up four runs and five hits in six innings. … Seattle manager Eric Wedge said before the game he has no idea if he’ll return in 2014 and expects to learn his fate next week.