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Jesse Winker’s heroics push Mariners past Royals in 12 innings

Apr 24, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Jesse Winker (27) is hugged by third baseman Ty France (23, right) after hitting a walk-off RBI-single against the Kansas City Royals during the twelfth inning at T-Mobile Park. Seattle defeated Kansas City, 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jesse Winker’s broken-bat single brought home the winning run in the 12th inning as the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Kansas City Royals 5-4 Sunday afternoon.

Winker also hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th to extend the game after the Royals scored in the top of the inning.

The Mariners swept the three-game series and finished 7-2 on their initial homestand of the season to move into first place in the American League West.

With Adam Frazier at second base to start the 12th, Royals right-hander Joel Payamps (0-1) intentionally walked Ty France, who was 3-for-5 with a home run. Winker then looped a 3-2 pitch into right field — the 11th pitch of the at-bat — and Frazier beat the throw to the plate, which was high.

Right-hander Yohan Ramirez (1-0) got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 12th, striking out both Whit Merrifield and Nicky Lopez to end the threat.

The Royals’ Hunter Dozier homered with one out in the top of the ninth inning to tie the score, and both teams scored in the 10th inning.

Kansas City pinch-hitter Andrew Benintendi led off the top of the 10th, driving in ghost runner Michael A. Taylor from second base. The Mariners tied it in the bottom half as France’s single sent Frazier to third and he scored on Winker’s sacrifice fly to center.

Frazier led off the bottom of the first inning by lining right-hander Carlos Hernandez’s first pitch into center field for a single. France pulled a 1-0 pitch over the fence in the left-field corner to make it 2-0.

The Royals tied the score in the third off lefty Robbie Ray. Taylor led off and walked on a 3-2 count. Cam Gallagher doubled to left, scoring Taylor from first. With one out, Edward Olivares hit a comebacker to the mound, with Gallagher caught off second and thrown out. Salvador Perez lined a double to left, his second of the game, to tie the score.

After the early trouble, Hernandez allowed just one more hit — a single by France — until the sixth.

With one out, Eugenio Suarez hit a ground-rule double down the left-field line. J.P. Crawford then lined a 1-2 pitch into left-center for another double, scoring the go-ahead run.

–Field Level Media