KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Ryan Franklin became the latest pitcher to dominate the punchless Kansas City Royals, pitching a six-hitter to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 6-0 victory Monday night.

Franklin, tied for the major league lead in losses, pitched his third career shutout and sixth complete game. The Royals have been shut out three times in the last four games and scored in only one of their last 37 innings.

Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer for Seattle, which has won consecutive games following a seven-game losing streak.

Franklin (4-10), one of three major league starters with 10 losses, sailed into the seventh with a two-hitter but had to work out of bases-loaded trouble when Mike Sweeney doubled, Matt Stairs got hit by a pitch and Terrence Long singled.

The 32-year-old right-hander struck out Angel Berroa, then got Mark Teahen to hit a high pop behind third. Adrian Beltre made an outstanding basket catch for the second time in the game before John Buck rolled into a force play.

The crowd booed the offensive futility of a team that has lost 14 of its last 16. Franklin struck out four and walked only one.

Rookie J.P. Howell (1-3) gave up eight hits and six runs in his fifth major league start. The left-hander looked impressive in his major league debut while beating Arizona 8-5 on June 11, but has struggled since. He had eight strikeouts in his debut but has since managed only 10 in 19 1-3 innings.

Mike Morse, Willie Bloomquist and Pat Borders hit consecutive singles off Howell in the third, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead. Ibanez then hit Howell’s fastball 389 feet over the wall in right for his 12th home run.

Ibanez singled leading off the sixth and went to second on a single by Beltre. After Richie Sexson’s RBI single, Mike Wood relieved and got Jose Lopez to bounce into a double play, with the sixth run scoring.

The Royals also had a threat in the eighth with runners at first and third and one out. But Sweeney, Kansas City’s lone All-Star, rolled into a double play.

Notes: A moment of silence was observed before the game for former Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Stram, who died earlier in the day. … It was the first time in nine games the Mariners did not give up a run in the first inning. … RF Long made a great sliding catch of Randy Winn’s sinking liner just before Ibanez’s three-run homer. SS Berroa also turned in a terrific play in the second, throwing out Beltre from his knees. … Franklin is 4-1 against Kansas City.

AP-ES-07-04-05 2242EDT


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