SEATTLE (AP) – The Kansas City Royals lost their club-record 16th consecutive game Monday night, managing only three hits and one run in eight innings against 19-year-old Seattle rookie Felix Hernandez in an 11-3 loss to the Mariners.

The Royals, winless since July 27 when they beat the Chicago White Sox 6-5 in 13 innings, have the longest losing streak in the major leagues since the Chicago Cubs lost 16 straight in 1996-97. The Cubs lost the final two games of the 1996 season and the first 14 in 1997.

The 1988 Baltimore Orioles are the only American League team to have a longer skid in the last 30 years, losing a league-record 21 in a row at the start of the season.

Bench coach Bob Schaefer directed the Royals in place of manager Buddy Bell, who was in Virginia to attend services at Arlington National Cemetery for his nephew, a Marine killed in Iraq. Lance Cpl. Tim Bell Jr. was killed by a roadside bomb this month.

Mike Morse, Richie Sexson and Ichiro Suzuki hit two-run homers to help the Mariners snap a four-game losing streak.

Hernandez (2-1), making his third major league start since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Aug. 4, lowered his ERA to 0.86 – two earned runs in 21 innings. He had a career-high 11 strikeouts and walked one, baffling the Royals with a 98 mph fastball, a devastating curveball and a changeup.

Hernandez lost his shutout bid in the seventh when Mike Sweeney and Eric Brown opened with singles, and Sweeney scored on Angel Berroa’s fielder’s choice. Berroa singled in the second for Kansas City’s other hit off Hernandez.

Morse, also a rookie, gave the Mariners a 2-0 lead in the second with his homer off Runelvys Hernandez (8-11). Morse broke out of an 0-for-15 slump in his first start at shortstop in a week.

The Mariners made it 5-0 in the fifth on Willie Bloomquist’s two-run triple and Raul Ibanez’s RBI single. Yorvit Torrealba singled in Seattle’s sixth run in the sixth.

Sexson made it 8-1 with a 416-foot opposite-field home run to right in the seventh, his 29th homer of the season. Sexson hit 45 homers for Milwaukee in 2003 and 2001, 31 for Cleveland in 1999 and 29 for Milwaukee in 2002.

Suzuki hit his 11th homer in the eighth.

Runelvys Hernandez pitched six innings and gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks, with five strikeouts.

Notes: Royals catcher John Buck had his second error of the season in 87 games. He had a throwing error on Ibanez’s steal of second in the fifth. … Mariners 3B Adrian Beltre was used at DH for the first time in his career. He was the ninth DH used by the Mariners this season. … Sexson struck out twice to increase his major league-leading total to 129. The club record is 176 set by Mike Cameron in 2002.

AP-ES-08-16-05 0046EDT

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