Royals cut Mariners’ lead for last AL wild card to 3 games

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Brady Singer pitched seven strong innings to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 5-1 victory over Seattle on Friday night, cutting the Mariners’ lead for the final AL wild-card spot to three games.

Playing without All-Star rookie center fielder Julio Rodriguez, the Mariners lost for the sixth time in eight games. Rodriguez was placed on the 10-day IL with a lower back strain shortly before the game.

With the Orioles’ 6-0 win over Houston, Seattle’s lead over Baltimore for the third wild-card spot shrank to three games. Both clubs have 12 games remaining in the regular season.

The Mariners managed their lone run on Cal Raleigh‘s 24th homer in the second. They have scored exactly one run in five of their last seven games, all losses.

Singer (10-4), who allowed five hits and struck out eight, has won his last six decisions, and Kansas City has won each of his nine starts dating to Aug. 9.

Aided by two Seattle errors, the Royals grabbed a 2-1 lead with a pair of third-inning RBI singles by Nate Eaton and MJ Melendez.

Kansas City tacked on two more in the fifth, highlighted by Bobby Witt Jr.‘s RBI double. Witt leads all major league rookies with 56 extra-base hits.

Marco Gonzales (10-15) allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits over five innings. He has lost three straight decisions.

Vinnie Pasquantino had two hits and drove in two for the Royals, who have won four straight, their longest winning streak of the season.

TRANSACTIONS

Seattle recalled OF Taylor Trammell from Class AAA Tacoma.

UP NEXT

Mariners RHP Logan Gilbert (13-6, 3.13 ERA) takes on Royals LHP Kris Bubic (2-13, 5.81).

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.