Seatlle Jason Vargas allowed three hits over seven innings, and the Kansas Royals had 16 hits — all singles — in a 6-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
Vargas (3-1), who pitched for the Mariners for four seasons (2009-12), struck out six without a walk. He is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in four career starts against his former team.
It also was the first road victory for Vargas, who signed a four-year, free-agent deal with the Royals in November.
Salvador Perez, Eric Gordon and Eric Hosmer had three hits each for the Royals, while Nori Aoki and Lorenzo Cain had two each.
The Mariners have scored two runs and had 10 hits over the past three games.
The first hit Vargas allowed came in the third, a one-out single by Mike Zunino. Shortstop Alcides Escobar knocked the hard grounder down, but it rolled a few feet away. The other hits were Dustin Ackley’s line single to center in the fifth and Robinson Cano’s ground single to right in the seventh.
The Royals pieced together rallies off Brandon Maurer (1-1). Only one run scored on a hit. The rest scored on an error, a sacrifice fly, a double play and two on fielder’s choices.
Aoki opened the game with a single to right followed by Hosmer’s single to right, with Aoki sprinting to third. Aoki scored on Billy Butler’s bouncer to third baseman Willie Bloomquist, who tried to start a double play but threw wildly to second, pulling Cano off the bag.
Initially, the umpires ruled Hosmer safe on an apparent error, but Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon challenged the call. After a review, it was ruled that Cano dragged his left toe across the bag while in possession of the ball. Hosmer was ruled out. Perez bounced into a double play to end the inning.
Hosmer’s sacrifice fly in the third put the Royals up 2-0.