KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The two teams are a combined three games over .500, so to say the remaining three games of the series are crucial might be a bit of a stretch.The Seattle Mariners (43-43) and the Kansas City Royals (44-41) have three games remaining in a four-game series that will conclude the unofficial first half of the season. Both teams still feel there is plenty of time to get back into their respective division races.We have some good players, Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano said after his team gave up a three-run lead in the last two innings Thursday and lost 4-3 to the Royals. We will keep playing.You lose as a team and you win as a team. We dont want to blame anybody here.The Mariners and Royals are two of eight teams within 4 1/2 games of the American League wild-card lead. Just a few games past the midway point in the schedule is no time to put extra pressure on this series, according to Kansas City manager Ned Yost.Then again, Yost says he doesnt do that for any series.I dont know how many times I have to go over this, he said before the game. I dont feel (extra) urgency. The reason for that is that we feel urgency every day. We dont treat these situations with more urgency than any other situation. In a major league season, every game is important. Your mindset has to be that this is the most important game of the year. Tomorrow, thats going to be your mindset.Royals rookie second baseman Whit Merrifield added, I wouldnt say theres urgency, but its always important to put together good games and try to take the series. Going into the All-Star break it would be good to finish strong and build momentum. But I wouldnt say that its any more urgent than any other series.I dont know about it still being early, but theres a lot of baseball left. A lot of stuff can happen between now and September or October. There are lot of games to be played and a lot of ups and downs to come.Seattle has experienced ups and downs on the road. The Mariners started the season with a 19-8 road record, but they have now lost 15 of their last 17 away contests, including nine straight. Seattle is hitting the ball -- it has 129 home runs, the second-highest total in the majors. They Mariners also are pitching well, as they own the fourth-best ERA in the American League (3.94).Their defense has let them down. Seattle is tied with the Minnesota Twins for the worst fielding percentage in the league.The Royals problems are almost opposite. Kansas City is one of the better defensive teams, but it ranks last in the American League in home runs and RBI. The starting pitching also is struggling. Danny Duffys strong outing Thursday was just the teams 32nd quality start in 85 games.The Royals will throw inconsistent Yordano Ventura (6-6, 5.26 ERA) on Friday night. When hes on, hes on. When hes not, hes not.Recent back-to-back starts against the Tigers and the Cardinals showed his good and bad form. He went 6 1/3 scoreless innings vs. Detroit on June 17, giving up six hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He followed that outing by going 5 1/3 innings and allowing seven runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts against St. Louis.Ventura is running into much of his troubles early in games. He has a 7.31 ERA in the first two innings but a 4.07 ERA from the third inning on.He will be looking for his first career win over the Mariners, as he is 0-3 with a 4.34 ERA in five starts. Ventura took a 6-0 loss at Seattle on April 30, when he allowed five runs in four-plus innings.The Mariners will counter with Hisashi Iwakuma, who has been improving as the season progresses. Iwakuma (8-6, 4.43 ERA) is 7-2 in his past nine starts. His ERA is still 4.47 in that span, but he has been able to keep his team in games.Iwakuma owns impressive career numbers against Kansas City: 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA four starts, though he hasnt faced the Royals this year. Nike Air Huarache Mens . Catch all the action on TSN2 at 11pm et/8pm pt. The nine-time Big 12 champion Jayhawks are positioning themselves for another title, as they have run out to a flawless 6-0 mark in conference play thus far. Nike Air Huarache Womens . Anthony Calvillo, through 20 CFL seasons, was frequently invincible and largely stoic in the heat of competition. But underneath the professional exterior he was, and is, compellingly human. http://www.huarachesnikeshoes.com/ . -- Catcher Brett Hayes has agreed to a $630,000, one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals, avoiding salary arbitration. Nike Huaraches Sale . Halifax beat the Saint John Sea Dogs 7-5 on the strength of two goals apiece from Nikolaj Ehlers, Matt Murphy and Brent Andrews. Jonathan Drouin also scored and had three assists while Zachary Fucale made 17 saves for the Mooseheads (16-8-0), who led 6-1 after two periods. Nike Huarache Sale Cheap .Y. - Detroit goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has earned NHL first star of the week honours after winning in his first three appearances of the season. Cats and sharks clearly dont mix but Geelong coach Chris Scott says hed risk open rebellion if he tried to ban his AFL players from surfing.The club confirmed key tall Lachie Henderson was surfing with former Carlton teammate Jarrad Waite at Bells Beach last week when a nearby surfer was knocked from his board by a shark.AFL players are discouraged from taking part in activities that put them in harms way, with some risky pastimes banned outright.Several Cats players, including star recruit Patrick Dangerfield, take to the waters along Geelongs popular surf coast during the season.But Scott admits he could have a mutiny on his hands if he tried to stop his players catching a wave in their down time.I reckon I would ... weve got a lot of surfers and its an impoortant part of their preparation, Scott said with a wry smile.ddddddddddddSo Ill just try to not to think about the sharks.The incident provided Scott with one of the more-bizarre scenarios an AFL coach has had to deal with as he prepares his team for a preliminary final.While several other surfers had the perfectly natural reaction of paddling madly for shore, Henderson and Waite remained in the surf.I was interested to hear that they stayed out there - I knew they were brave but I didnt realise they were that brave, Scott added.It probably suggests to me it was more likely a dolphin than a shark.No one was harmed in the incident. 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