Bryan Woo strikes out five in Mariners’ win vs. Royals

Bryan Woo strikes out five in Mariners’ win vs. Royals
Bryan Woo strikes out five in Mariners’ win vs. Royals

SEATTLE — It was shaping up to be an all-too-familiar outcome, one that the Mariners had just witnessed less than 24 hours prior, featuring heavy traffic in the late innings, a one-run lead and a gem from their starting pitcher that could quickly be spoiled.

But this time around, Bryan Woo limited the damage and surrounded the support of two huge outs from Gabe Speier as Seattle held on for a 4-2 win over the Royals on Wednesday afternoon at T-Mobile Park. A big defensive play from Josh Rojas and Ryne Stanek limited trouble in the eighth before Andrés Muñoz worked a five-out save, getting around two runners in the ninth inning.

The Mariners secured their eighth series win among their past nine, their fifth in a row at home — and another against a quality opponent.

Perhaps above all, they wrapped a winning homestand feeling much better about the health of Woo, whose first outing off the injured list last Friday was cut short due to tightness in his pitching forearm.

The second-year starter cruised through the first five innings with just one baserunner allowed, via a bunt single by Michael Massey in the second, before another long layover — the culprit for his issue on Friday — occurred in the middle of the fifth , when home-plate umpire Jim Wolf left for precautionary reasons after taking a foul ball off his mask.

Woo filled up the zone, with 60 of his 79 pitches for strikes, and held lefties to a 2-for-10 clip with two strikeouts, which represented a notable improvement in a small sample after they tagged him for a .928 OPS last year . He also racked up five strikeouts to bring his career total to 101, becoming the eighth player in franchise history to hit the century mark through his first 20 career starts.

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