Royals try to solve Mariners' Saunders

Seattle's Joe Saunders tries to continue his mastery of the Kansas City Royals on Thursday when the Mariners conclude their four-game set against them at Kauffman Stadium.

Saunders has had minimal success this season, but he has shined against the Royals over the course of his career, posting a perfect 4-0 mark to go along with a 2.81 ERA in seven starts.

The left-hander picked up a win on Saturday in Houston, as he allowed just an unearned run and six hits before being pulled with one out in the fifth to improve to 11-13 with a 4.92 ERA.

"I wasn't happy about coming out of the game," Saunders said. "But I'm never happy about coming out. I thought I had a lot left in the tank, but he's the manager for a reason. He makes those decisions."

Kansas City will counter with a veteran of its own in righty Jeremy Guthrie, who is 13-10 with a 4.08 ERA. Guthrie did not get a decision on Saturday in Toronto, despite a solid effort that saw him allow a run and eight hits in seven innings of a 4-2 loss.

Guthrie has faced the Mariners 11 times and is 2-7 with a 4.67 ERA against them.

Kansas City won the first two games of this series, but fell on Wednesday, as Kendrys Morales snapped a tie game in the ninth with a two-run homer and Seattle claimed a 6-4 win.

Morales came to the plate with two outs against Aaron Crow (7-5) and sent his fourth offering over the center field wall.

"One mistake can hurt you, that's what happened," Crow said. "Obviously I'm not getting the job done, but I still feel capable of being able to do it."

Danny Farquhar made the two-run edge stand by setting down the Royals in order during their final turn, recording his 12th save. It was only the fourth win for the Mariners in their last 13 games.

Jarrod Dyson knocked in two during a four-run fourth for Kansas City, which had a three-game winning streak stopped. Starter Ervin Santana lasted only 3 1/3 innings, charged with four runs, seven hits and three walks.

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