KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- — Seattle rookie Jarred Kelenic spoiled the major league debut of pitcher Jonathan Heasley by hitting a pair of two-run homers that sent the Mariners over the Kansas City Royals 6-2 Friday night.
Kelenic’s first multihomer game of his career kept the Mariners 3 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees for the second AL wild-card spot. Toronto and Oakland also are in the mix.
“It was nice to get back in the win column after a couple of tough losses at home,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Obviously it was the Jarred Kelenic show early.”
Kelenic had faced Heasley in the minors, going 0 for 2 with two walks.
“Any time you can hit two homers in a game it feels good,” Kelenic said. “People change. I’m sure his stuff got better over the years. I just kind of went up there with my own approach, just like I do with any other pitcher.”
Chris Flexen (12-6) allowed one run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
“It was definitely a grind the first couple of innings,” Flexen said. “I just needed to make pitches. We tried to attack with all four pitches.”
Heasley (0-1) gave up four runs, all on Kelenic’s homers, and six hits in four innings.
When Heasley delivered his first pitch, he became the fifth Royals pitcher selected in the 2018 draft to pitch for the big league club. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 2021 Royals are the first team in MLB history to have five pitchers from the same draft class start a game in one season.
Heasley gave up a leadoff single to Ty France in the second and Kelenic homered with one out.
In the fourth, Kelenic hit his 12th home run, a 435-foot drive to center field after Heasley hit France with a pitch.
“I thought his stuff looked great,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said of Heasley’s debut. “I thought he threw much better than what the four runs were. Even looking at those pitches, you’re talking a 3-1 changeup and a 3-2 curveball on the black away. Those are not terrible pitches.
“I thought he executed everything.”
The Royals scored off Flexen in the sixth on Andrew Benintendi’s single. Kansas City eventually loaded the bases, but Michael A. Taylor took a called third strike to end the threat.
Hunter Dozier homered in the Royals seventh.
Mariners: RHP Justin Dunn left his rehab start Thursday night after a few pitches. Servais said his season likely has come to an end. Dunn has been on the injured list since June 2 with right shoulder inflammation.
Royals: Matheny said RHP Brad Keller likely is done for the year. Keller has been in the injured list since Aug. 27 with a right lat strain.
The Royals placed RHP Brady Singer on the injured list with an undisclosed injury. His spot on the 26-man roster was filled by Heasley. … Taylor was reinstated from the family medical emergency list and OF Edward Olivares was optioned to Triple-A Omaha.
Atlanta Braves' Game 2 starter Max Fried says he's 'not against' pitching Game 5 on short rest
Atlanta's Game 2 starter said, "We'll see how I feel over the next couple days," as the Braves look at pitching solutions in the wake of Charlie Morton's broken leg.
Jose Altuve breaks out to help Houston Astros tie up World Series against Atlanta Braves
Jose Altuve scored the first run of the night, then tallied the final one on a home run that moved him into a tie for second in postseason homers, as the Astros evened the World Series against the Braves.
How the Astros were able to rebound in Game 2
Eduardo Perez and Tim Kurkjian detail how Jose Urquidy, Jose Altuve and the Astros were able to get the win in Game 2.
World Series 2021 -- Best moments, action and more from Game 2 between Braves and Astros
A big early inning, Altuve's historic homer and Jose Urquidy's seven-strikeout performance send Houston to Game 2 win.
Astros bounce back with Game 2 win to even series
The Astros score four in the second, and Jose Altuve adds a home run to level the series at one game apiece.
Altuve goes yard to extend Astros' lead
The Astros take a 7-2 lead over the Braves in the seventh inning after Jose Altuve delivers a towering home run to left field.