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Mariners beat Royals 1-0 for 7th straight victory

Starter James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during the second inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals at Safeco Field on July 1, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won the game 1-0. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

SEATTLE  — James Paxton limited Kansas City to two hits and struck out 11 in eight innings and the Seattle Mariners beat the Royals 1-0 on Sunday for their season-best seventh consecutive victory.

Paxton, from Ladner, British Columbia, pitched on Canada Day — and his bobblehead day at Safeco Field.

Paxton (8-2) also allowed two walks.

Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his 32nd save.

Kansas City rookie Brad Keller (2-3) allowed six hits in eight innings. He allowed only one extra-base hit, Kyle Seager’s double in the seventh inning.

The only run came in the second inning. Ben Gamel dropped a broken-bat single into shallow center to score Kyle Seager from second base. Seager singled to right before Ryon Healy singled to center.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy, who experienced tightness on his left side during his start Friday, had his normal throwing day in the bullpen Sunday, but Kansas City manager Ned Yost did not say whether Kennedy would make his next scheduled start. Yost said RF Jorge Soler (fractured toe and placed in the 10-day DL June 17) is still on a six-weeks-or-so recovery, so it’s likely another four weeks before he would return.

Mariners: Manager Scott Servais said they will monitor RHP Felix Hernandez and his back stiffness over the next few days. Hernandez pitched five innings Saturday night and earned the victory (three runs and six hits) but struggled with back pain and wasn’t able to sit down in the dugout between innings. “We’ll keep an eye on it,” Servais said. “We have the off day (Monday) so he’ll get an extra-day off between starts.” … Servais said he was hopeful RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, who underwent shoulder surgery last September, would be back by now, but Iwakuma’s throwing was shut down again last week. “He’s frustrated by that,” Servais said. “The doctors still are optimistic he’ll get back (this season) but I don’t have any timetable for it.”

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Jakob Junis (5-9, 4.67) will make his 17th starts of the season Monday when the Royals return home to start a three-game series with Cleveland. Junis has allowed a major league-high 22 home runs over 96.1 innings.

Mariners: LHP Wade LeBlanc (3-0, 3.38) will make his 12th starts of the season Tuesday when Seattle starts a three-game series at home against the Angels. LeBlanc hasn’t lost a decision in his 11 starts and the Mariners are 8-3 in those games.