KANSAS CITY — Ask Seattle’s Cha Seung Baek what was working well against Kansas City, and he reels off his entire repertoire.
But the Royals, who struck out seven times and managed only five hits off him, said the same thing.
While Baek (2-2) threw one of his best games of the year Saturday night, Kenji Johjima hit his first major league grand slam and Richie Sexson, after being kicked in the head, added a three-run shot in a 9-1 victory over the Royals.
Baek gave up five hits in seven-plus innings, throwing 74 strikes in his 98 pitches, with no walks. The only runner to get past second did so on an error.
“Slider, cutters were good today,” Baek said. “The changeup. Also the fastball.”
Mark Grudzielanek, one of two batters to get as far as second, said he seemed to throw everything well.
“He threw me everything,” Grudzielanek said. “He was coming in a little bit, mixing it up pretty good. He had good command, good control.”
Brian Bannister (0-3) went seven innings and gave up four runs and eight hits, with two walks and no strikeouts. Raul Ibanez hit the first of his two doubles, Sexson walked and Ben Broussard reached on an infield single, loading the bases in the fourth.
Johjima, who had singled in the second to stretch his hitting streak to five games, lined the first pitch over the fence.
Sexson, knocked woozy by a knee to the head in a play at first base in the eighth inning, had a three-run shot in the five-run ninth.
Sexson fielded a hard grounder behind first hit by Tony Pena Jr. and tried to get to the bag on his knees. Pena sprinted to first and was safe as he went tumbling over the bag and appeared to catch Sexson in the head.
The 6-foot-8, 235-pound Sexson, teased at getting whacked by the much smaller shortstop, said his calf and his head took the blow.
“It’s OK. I got a little lightheaded when he hit me,” he said. “I just got dizzy. It’s like playing football.”