KANSAS CITY -- Talk about a slam dunk. One swing by Kenji Johjima -- his first grand slam in the Majors -- was all the Seattle Mariners really needed Saturday night as they submerged the Royals, 9-1. Oh, the Mariners made a five-run splash in the ninth when Richie Sexson pounded a home run, but it was just so much unnecessary fluff. The Royals werent exactly threatening to explode. It was the third straight loss for the Royals and, in those games, theyve been outscored 29-6. Before this, the Mariners won 10-2 and the Indians defeated them 10-3. Rookie Alex Gordon, one for nine in those games, pondered that for a moment. "They did a good job, but it was us not hitting the ball. There is no way I can say it other than that," he said. The guy they couldnt get a hit against on this night as 21,138 fans waited at Kauffman Stadium was the South Korean right-hander, Cha Seung Baek. Baek worked into the eighth inning and gave up just five singles and one unearned run -- on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourts throwing error. Tony Pena Jr., who scored the Royals lone run, had three of the hits. In all, Baek tossed 98 pitches -- 74 of them for strikes. "Thats pretty incredible," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "He was hard and soft all night. He didnt really throw anything in between. He threw everything for strikes." Bannister lost, but he at least gave the Royals a seven-inning start, something they had not seen in the previous 10 games. Or since Gil Meche threw seven shutout innings on May 14 at Oakland. Thats what Bell and Bannister were aiming for, because they were short in the bullpen with Joakim Soria going on the disabled list, and the starters were getting chased early most of the week. Bannisters one trouble spot was the fourth inning. Raul Ibanez doubled with one out, Sexson walked and Ben Broussard was safe on a close play at first. He beat second baseman Mark Grudzielaneks throw. Bases loaded. Bannisters next pitch was a fastball which did a quick turnaround into the left-field seats. "I was trying to get ahead of Johjima, keep the ball down and he got it," Bannister said. "That was the first home run Ive given up this year, but it wasnt a spot where I wanted to give it up in." Nope. But when Bell surveyed the wreckage, it wasnt the slam that really caught his eye. "I think the biggest at-bat of that whole inning was the walk to Sexson," Bell said. "Im not saying that was a turning point or anything, but that was a huge at-bat. Then Banny had to deal with everything else in that inning. Its not always the grand slam or the misplay. Sometimes its just the walks or the pitches that you make." Bannister certainly wasnt trying to pitch around the hulking Sexson. "At that point, it was a 1-0 game and there was a guy on second -- Ibanez had hit that double," Bannister said. "I was trying to pitch him tough -- I know hes not hitting well this season, but youve got to respect who he is. I wasnt giving him an easy swing at the ball." That was probably prudent, considering Sexson capped off the Mariners five-run ninth with a three-run blast against recently-recalled reliever Ryan Braun. Ichiro Suzuki, with an infield single in the ninth, extended his hitting streak to 19 games. That came against Braun. Against Bannister, Ichiro was zip for four. "Ichiro had been really hot and I kept control of him," Bannister said. But he couldnt keep control of Johjima, and that cost him.