6/21/2014 2:20 A.M. ET
Seager earns break as DH for Royals opener
By Jackson Alexander / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- After 37 straight starts at the hot corner, Kyle Seager finally received a respite on Friday night.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon employed his third baseman as the designated hitter for the series opener with the Royals.
McClendon said his intentions were to: "Get [Seager] off his legs a little bit. We've been grinding him pretty good -- just freshen him up a little bit."
Utility man Willie Bloomquist started at third base for the fifth time this season. Bloomquist's last starts at third came on May 9-10 -- also against Kansas City -- when Seager sat out a pair of games with flu-like symptoms.
McClendon recognized the importance of resting everyday starters like Seager, particularly in Seattle's arduous stretch of 35 games in 36 days.
"I need to be more conscious of that," McClendon said. "[Seager's] swung the bat pretty well for us, but we've got to rest him whenever we can, so this is one way to do it."
LoMo's brilliant catch saves day for Mariners
KANSAS CITY -- With the potential go-ahead run on second and two outs, the Royals' Alcides Escobar hit a looper to shallow right; the kind of flare that usually settles perfectly into no-man's land for a base hit.
Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison knew that snagging it and preserving a tie game would require some improvisation.
"I didn't know which way to break at first, which way to turn," Morrison said. "Those you kind of want to let get over your head a little bit and that way you can run to a spot."
Morrison, with his back to home plate the entire time, made the spectacular catch that played a big part in Seattle's 7-5 win on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Reliever Tom Wilhelmsen acknowledged the slick play with a tip of his cap.
"I'm glad I made the play because it was in a big spot for us," Morrison said.
Morrison contributed with his bat as well. He smashed a two-run homer in the fifth inning, while capping a two-run ninth with an RBI single after Brad Miller's homer off Royals closer Greg Holland snapped the 5-5 tie.
Prospect Walker labors in start at Triple-A
KANSAS CITY -- Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker was roughed up on Thursday night at Triple-A Tacoma.
Walker allowed seven runs (six earned) and seven hits, along with two home runs in five innings.
Walker started the season with a pair of dazzling starts at Class A Advanced High Desert and Double-A Jackson. He combined to throw 9 1/3 innings, while fanning 17 batters and allowing just one earned run.
But Walker's ERA was 5.82 in five starts with Tacoma.
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.