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Sunday, June 4, 2006 - Page updated at 02:46 AM

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Royal Crush: M's hammer Kansas City 12-1

The Associated Press

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SEATTLE – Richie Sexson hit a pair of two-run homers and Adrian Beltre homered at Safeco Field for the first time this season, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 12-1 rout of Kansas City on Saturday night.

The two sluggers, who signed with Seattle for a combined $114 million before the 2005 season, homered in the same game for the first time this year. Both have struggled in their second season with the Mariners — Beltre entered Saturday hitting .230, Sexson .206 — and the pair had a combined eight homers and 45 RBIs.

Sexson hit a two-run homer into the Seattle bullpen in left-center field to cap a three-run first inning for the Mariners. Beltre served as the catalyst for a four-run third inning, hitting a 1-2 curveball from Seth Etherton (1-1) out to center for a 4-0 Seattle lead.

Sexson added a sacrifice fly in the inning, and Kenji Johjima capped the rally with a two-run double just inside the left-field line that knocked Etherton from the game.

Making his second start, Etherton allowed seven runs on just four hits and walked four.

Seattle scored four more times in the fourth, capped by Sexson's two-out homer to right off reliever Andrew Sisco. It was the first multihomer game by a Mariner since Sexson hit a pair on Aug. 20, 2005 against Minnesota.

Ichiro Suzuki went 3-for-4 and finished a home run short of the cycle. Seattle has won seven of nine at home.

That was plenty of offense for Seattle starter Joel Pineiro, who pitched seven innings and broke a three-game losing streak. Pineiro (5-5) had not won since beating Cleveland 4-1 on May 6. He allowed seven hits and struck out four.

The Royals had opportunities against Pineiro. At one point in the third- and fourth-innings, six straight Royals' reached base, but only one run scored.

The critical play in that stretch was Seattle left-fielder Raul Ibanez throwing out Paul Bako at the plate to end the third.

Ibanez cleanly fielded Mark Grudzielanek's single, and his throw was just to the first-base side of home plate. Johjima dove to place the tag on Bako and home plate umpire Jim Reynolds called Bako out, although television replays clearly showed Bako's left hand touching the plate before Johjima's tag. Bako and manager Buddy Bell both argued with Reynolds.

The Royals, who were shutout in their previous two games, snapped their scoreless innings streak at 21 when Matt Stairs singled, scoring Doug Mientkiewicz in the fourth.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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