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Royals seek to secure series win over M's

The Kansas City Royals will continue their playoff push when they target a series win over the Seattle Mariners Wednesday in the third portion of a four-game set from Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals are 4 1/2 games off the final wild card spot in the American League and haven't been to the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series. They have taken the first two matchups with the Mariners, including Tuesday's 4-3 triumph thanks to some late-inning heroics.

Salvador Perez drove in Mike Moustakas with a go-ahead RBI single in the decisive eighth inning and finished 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. In his last 13 games, Perez is batting .354 with five homers and 15 RBI.

Alex Gordon homered for the Royals, who have won three in a row and eight of their last 10 games. His 16th home run of the season was a leadoff shot and he established a new team record for leadoff homers with 12, passing Willie Wilson and David DeJesus.

"We just got to win ballgames and that's our main focus," Gordon said.

Eric Hosmer singled and walked three times and extended his hitting streak to seven games. He is batting .400 during the streak and .339 since Aug. 20.

Luke Hochevar recorded the final two outs in the eighth to pick up the win, while Greg Holland fired a scoreless ninth to notch his 38th save of the season. Bruce Chen was solid in the start and limited the Mariners to a pair of runs in six innings.

K.C.'s bullpen has a 0.62 ERA in the last 11 games.

Ervin Santana draws the start for the Royals and he is 0-2 in his previous five trips to the mound. Santana dropped a 3-2 decision at Toronto last Friday and gave up three runs, two of which were earned, in seven innings. He is 8-8 in 27 starts to go along with a 3.19 ERA.

Santana has made 29 career starts against Seattle and is 12-7 in that time with a decent 3.94 earned run average.

Seattle has dropped three straight and nine of its last 12 games. Erasmo Ramirez tried to pitch the Mariners back into the win column, but was reached for three runs in 6 1/3 innings for the no-decision.

Yoervis Medina served up the game-winning hit by Perez to take the loss.

Kyle Seager hit a two-run in defeat.

"We're not scoring a great deal of runs, but it's not because we're not getting opportunities," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.

The Mariners opened this eight-game road trip by taking three of four meetings with the Houston Astros and will send Taijuan Walker to the bump Wednesday. Walker made his Major League debut in last Friday's 7-1 win at Houston and allowed one unearned run in five innings.

Walker, a right-hander, became the youngest Mariner to win his debut.

"He had pretty good stuff," M's catcher Henry Blanco said of the 21-year-old. "He had all four pitches going good and mixed it up real well. He kept hitters off balance and that's what you've got to do here in the big leagues. He worked ahead of hitters. That was pretty impressive."

Blanco is twice as old as Walker, who became just the 11th pitcher in team history to win his starting debut.

The Mariners went 7-1 against the Royals last season.