Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals

Cheer up, Mariners fans. The Kansas City Royals traditionally don’t play well at Safeco Field (where they’re 15-27 all-time). But there’s an ex- factor in this three-game series. K.C.’s current roster includes five former Mariners; and there’s a history of players returning here to burn their old team. Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, shipped to K.C. last season, is now on track for career highs in home runs and RBI. Seattle’s punchless lineup could sure use his bat around now. That goes double for right fielder Jose Guillen, who displayed both power and a prickly personality in 2007, his one year as a Mariner. This season, his 13 HRs, 41 runs, and 43 RBIs would lead the Mariners—by far—in all three categories. Then there’s K.C. left fielder Scott Podsednik, an All-Star three years after leaving Seattle in 2002; he’s swiped 20 bases this season, matching Ichiro’s total. The Mariners counter with just one former Royal—designated hitter Mike Sweeney, who has hit his former team at a .400 clip the past couple of years. Neither team is going anywhere in the AL, which could actually made the series evenly matched. MICHAEL MAHONEY

Mon., July 5, 7:10 p.m., 2010

 
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