Seattle, WA – The Kansas City Royals will officially miss out on the postseason for the 28th consecutive year.
The Royals ran into a buzzsaw in Hisashi Iwakuma, who spun eight scoreless innings to cap his brilliant season and the Seattle Mariners' 6-0 win in the rubber match of this three-game series.
Iwakuma (14-6) allowed only four hits, struck out nine and walked just one as his ERA dipped to 2.66, good for third in the AL.
"It sort of caps off the year he had. He just keeps getting stronger. Every start is getting better and better," said Mariners catcher Mike Zunino.
Zunino hit two solo home runs, Michael Saunders also went deep and Kyle Seager added a two-run double in the win, Seattle's second straight via shutout.
Ervin Santana (9-10) was tagged for four runs on five hits and four walks over six-plus innings in defeat. The loss, coupled with the Cleveland Indians' win on Wednesday, eliminated Kansas City from the wild card race.
"We put ourselves in the situation to maybe find a way to sneak in, but we just came up a little short," Gordon said. "It's unfortunate, but we've got four more games and we're going to try to finish the season strong."
The Mariners' bats were silent through the first four innings before waking up in the fifth.
Zunino led off with his fourth home run of the year -- a no-doubter to left field -- and Brad Miller, who made a leaping grab at short to start an inning- ending double play in the top half, doubled two batters later.
Nick Franklin followed with a walk and both runners scored on Seager's double down the right-field line.
Dustin Ackley scored in the seventh on Will Smith's throwing error, and Smith served up back-to-back blasts to Saunders and Zunino in the eighth.
Iwakuma retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced, and Charlie Furbush shook off a leadoff double in the ninth to secure the shutout.
Iwakuma, who finished the year having thrown 23 straight scoreless innings, had a 0.76 ERA in five September starts ... Seattle has shut out its opponent 14 times this year ... The Mariners host the AL West-champion Oakland Athletics this weekend in a three-game series to close out the season ... Kansas City ends the year with four games in Chicago against the White Sox.