PEORIA, Ariz. - Seattle's struggling pitching staff gave up more than 15 runs for the second consecutive day in a 17-12 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
A day after getting tagged for 16 runs by the Los Angeles Angels, Mariners pitchers allowed 22 hits and a nine-run inning to the Royals. Alberto Callaspo went 4-for-6 with three doubles and scored three times. Coco Crisp and Billy Bulter each had three hits as Kansas City finished with 11 extra-base hits.
"If spring training stats were a guarantee we'd all be hanging ourselves right now," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. "You've got to think positively and now is not the time to give up on your club pitching-wise. We'll just keep working."
Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn was rocked for seven runs and nine hits in the first two innings, although Kansas City starter Zack Greinke wasn't any better.
Greinke, slated to pitch the second game of the season for the Royals, gave up eight earned runs and 10 hits in just two innings. All eight runs came in the second, when Seattle sent 13 batters to the plate, rattled off five straight singles and took an 8-7 lead.
"I didn't want them to take me out. I still felt pretty strong," Greinke said. "But they thought it would be better to throw in the bullpen than face more hitters."
Greinke was scheduled to throw about 90 pitches, but was pulled after 52.
Mike Sweeney had three hits and two RBIs for Seattle. Yuniesky Betancourt and Kenji Johjima homered, while Ken Griffey Jr. added a pair of sharp singles.
Seattle led 10-7 entering the seventh inning before bullpen candidates David Aardsma and Roy Corcoran collapsed.
Aardsma walked the first two batters, then got a pair of outs. That's when things unraveled.
Callaspo doubled to score a pair and Tony Pena Jr. followed with a two-run homer. After another double, Aardsma was replaced by Corcoran, who allowed a pair of RBI singles before Ryan Shealy's three-run homer. Denny Stark got the final out of the inning.
Washburn struggled at the start, unable to keep pitches down in the strike zone. He was hit hard, including five doubles and Alex Gordon's homer in the first two innings.
But Washburn adjusted and as he tired was able to hit more spots. After giving up hits to six different batters in the first two innings, he allowed just four hits over his final four innings.
"I kind of got a little tired after (the second). I think I was a little too strong and felt too good those first two innings and everything was up and flat," Washburn said. "After I got a little tired I started getting a better angle on the ball and better movement."
Notes: Seattle acquired INF Chris Burke in a trade with San Diego for cash, and Burke was on the field Sunday afternoon. He played center field and second base, but struck out in his only at-bat. ... Seattle optioned C Jeff Clement to Triple-A Tacoma and released RHP Tyler Walker.