SEATTLE — There is still some Mariners excitement to be had as the final games of an otherwise forgettable season tick away.
Monday was an example of that, even if it came in defeat.
Seattle rallied to take a lead in the seventh inning, then had to rally again to tie the game in the eighth, but couldn’t manage one more in the 12th, falling to playoff-hopeful Kansas City, 6-5, in front of 12,790 at Safeco Field.
The Royals earned the victory in the four-hour-plus game when Alex Gordon led off with a walk in the 12th, advanced to second base on a sacrifice, and scored on a double to left by Salvador Perez. Johnny Giavotella nearly scored on the play, as well, but was thrown out on a close call at home.
The Mariners led off the bottom of the inning with a pair of walks, but Kansas City closer Greg Holland retired the next three batters for his 45th save. Michael Saunders struck out on a check swing, throwing his bat at disgust on the called third strike by plate umpire Vic Carapazza.
It marked the 21st extra-innings game for Seattle this season, which matches a team record set in 1982; the last eight have been defeats.
With the victory, the Royals are three games back in the American League wild-card race behind Cleveland.
The Mariners nearly broke through in the 10th inning as Kyle Seager led off with a double to right center and advanced to third base when outfielder Justin Maxwell bobbled the ball on the warning track. Three batters later, pinch hitter Endy Chavez hit a shallow fly to left field and Gordon was just able to gun down Seager on a controversial play at the plate.