The Kansas City Royals aren't going down without a fight.
The playoff hopefuls try to secure a third straight victory on Tuesday night in the middle portion of a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners.
The Royals notched a tense but thrilling 6-5 win over the Mariners in 12 innings on Monday night. Their fourth victory in five games moved them to within three games of the Cleveland Indians for the second wild card spot in the American League with six games to play.
Seattle nearly won the game in the 10th inning, loading the bases ahead of Endy Chavez's fly out to left field. Alex Gordon secured the out and then fired home, where Salvador Perez made a diving tag on Kyle Seager to keep the game tied.
"I knew there was a chance I was going to have to make that play," Gordon said. "I kind of visualized it before it happened and luckily I have Salvy (Perez) back there who always makes a good play."
Fittingly, Perez was the one to stroke the go-ahead RBI double in the 12th inning, plating Gordon of course, and Greg Holland matched the Royals' single- season record with his 45th save of the campaign.
"Every game, from now to the end of the season, is important for us," Perez told the Royals' website. "We don't think about what's happening with the other teams, we just need a win. We can't control the other teams, the only thing we can control is our game."
Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Saunders scorched back-to-back homers to tie the game in the eighth for Seattle, which has lost seven of its last nine.
"It's definitely a tough loss," Seager said. "We battled, we played hard and we came out on the wrong end of it tonight."
Bruce Chen will try to keep the Mariners on the wrong end again tonight. The Royals lefty has won three of his last four decisions and is coming off a 7-2 victory over the Indians on Wednesday. Chen allowed two runs on four hits and one walk over five innings.
Chen is 8-3 with a 3.13 earned run average in 32 games this year, making 13 starts since joining the rotation in mid-July.
The 36-year-old did not factor into an outing versus Seattle on Sept. 3, yielding two runs over six innings. He is 4-1 against the Mariners lifetime with a 3.21 ERA.
Left-hander James Paxton makes his fourth career start tonight for the M's.
The 24-year-old allowed one earned run, six hits and three walks total over back-to-back wins against Tampa Bay and St. Louis to begin his career, then did not get a decision at Detroit on Thursday. Paxton allowed three runs on five hits and four walks in five innings of work.
The Royals took three of four from the Mariners at home in early September after losing seven of eight in the season series last year.