M’s Shutout Royals Again – Wedge Unsure if He’ll Return
Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight scoreless innings and Mike Zunino homered twice to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 6-0 win against Kansas City, ending the Royals’ playoff hopes Wednesday night. Iwakuma finished the season with a 14-6 record and an E.R.A. of 2.66, good for third best in the American League.
The Royals entered Wednesday four games behind Cleveland for the second wild-card berth with five games to play.
All three teams ahead of Kansas City in the wild-card hunt — Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Texas — won on Wednesday, and the Royals needed a victory to keep their slim hopes alive. Iwakuma made sure they didn’t get one.
Ervin Santana (9-10) matched Iwakuma and kept the Mariners scoreless for the first four innings before Seattle broke through. Santana went six innings, allowing four runs and five hits with two strikeouts and four walks.
Meanwhile Mariners manger Eric Wedge says he feels like he’s “hanging out there” with little clarity regarding his future with the organization.
Wedge spoke before Wednesday’s game against Kansas City, his first comments about his job status. Wedge’s contract — originally a three-year deal — expires after the season and Wedge indicated he’s been given no word about whether he’ll return for a fourth year.
Seattle is about to conclude a fourth straight losing season and a step back from the incremental progress the Mariners showed between Year 1 and 2 with Wedge in charge. Wedge’s season was interrupted in July when he suffered a mild stroke and missed a month.
Wedge’s comments came a day after the team confirmed general manager Jack Zduriencik would return for 2014.