Less than desirable outcome for Davies
Righty gives up eight runs in return; Butler, Gordon go deep
KANSAS CITY -- This wasn't the ideal return for Kyle Davies.
There's no way he could have envisioned this, right? That after being demoted to Triple-A Omaha on June 20 and going 4-2 with a 2.14 ERA in a long Minor League stint, he'd return and have to suffer through a line like this: 3 2/3 innings, eight runs, eight hits, and another loss for the slumping Royals.
The bad news? The Mariners swept aside Davies and beat the Royals, 11-6, in front of 27,805 on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium.
The good news? At least Davies was gone by the time the cat showed up. Yep, there was a cat sighting on Wednesday night in the top of the fifth inning. Some lost gray feline ran loose through a bewildered Royals defense.
The delay was short, but perhaps there was a little symbolism there.
The Royals season -- a season that has shifted from hopeful to disappointing -- had simply gone bizarre.
"I was surprised it wasn't entirely black," said Royals manager Trey Hillman.
Of course, you can't blame Hillman for feeling cursed.
The Royals are now 1-10 at home since the All-Star break. They've lost 20 of their past 25 games. And they've tumbled to a season-low 25 games under .500.
Davies' night crumbled to pieces early. He didn't even make it to the fourth inning, and he fell to 3-8 on the season.
The Mariners chased Davies in the top of the fourth, sending 10 hitters to the plate and piecing together six runs on six hits. Seattle did get a little help from Davies, who had a wild pitch and a throwing error during the inning.
"They put together a bunch of good hits," Davies said. "I think I had a bunch of those guys two strikes, and I was trying to get them to put my pitch in play, and they were able to square the ball up."
Davies' disappointing performance undermined an offense that showed a little life for a second straight night.
Billy Butler and Alex Gordon both belted two-run homers -- Butler in the third, and Gordon in the fourth -- but those offensive outbursts ended up being meaningless notes in the postgame box score.
"It was good to see those guys swing the bat," Hillman said. "It was good to see Gordy get going."
The Royals added another run in the sixth on an RBI single from Willie Bloomquist, and finished their scoring when Butler scored Mitch Maier with an RBI single in the eighth.
For baseball purists, the cat episode wasn't the only bizarre moment.
The Mariners tacked on their 11th run of the game in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of some careless defense from the Royals.
With Jack Wilson on second, Rob Johnson hit a hot shot up the middle. Maier charged, came up throwing and badly missed his cutoff man, allowing Johnson to take off for second. Miguel Olivo received the ball at home and delivered a strike to second, but there wasn't a play as Wilson bolted for home and slid in safely ahead of the return throw from shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Johnson ended up safe at third, but wasn't given an RBI, because Wilson advanced two bases on ill-advised throws.
"It all starts with a missed cutoff," Hillman said. "Nothing good usually comes out of it when you miss a cutoff man."
The Mariners struck first in the top of the third, using a double from Rob Johnson, a triple from Michael Saunders and a single from Russell Branyan to take a 2-0 lead.
The Royals pulled even at 2-2 in the bottom half of the third, when Butler swatted his 12th homer of the season into the left-field bullpen.
A few minutes later, the Mariners would begin their six-run fourth, and the Royals would have to add another loss to the pile.
"This is the Major Leagues. You gotta play like a Major League team," Hillman said. "In order to do that you have to be able to put your offense, your defense and your pitching all together and be more consistent."
Rustin Dodd is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.