Buddy Bell has no interest in becoming part of one of baseball's most dubious records.

"There's a lot of history I care about, but right now I just want to move forward," the Kansas City Royals manager said.

The Royals lost their club-record 18th straight game Wednesday, moving within three of matching the longest skid in American League history by falling 11-5 to the Seattle Mariners.

"Nobody is going to give us any pity and we're not going to pity ourselves," Bell said. "We just need to play better."

The Royals are closing in on the American League record of 21 straight losses set by the Baltimore Orioles at the start of the 1988 season. The modern major league record for consecutive losses is 23, set by the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies.

"This is tough," pitcher Jose Lima said, packing to get ready to go to Oakland with the rest of the Royals. "This is something we didn't plan. Nothing is going our way right now."

The Royals start a three-game series at Oakland on Friday night before returning home to face Boston for three games beginning Tuesday night. They're 0-3 against the Athletics and Red Sox, with both sweeps coming during their current streak.

Lima (4-11) will start Friday night for the Royals, with Mike Wood (3-4) going Saturday night and Runelvys Hernandez (8-11) on Sunday.

"I hope they keep losing," Lima said of the A's, who have lost four straight. "I've just got to do my job and stay focused like my last game."

On Wednesday, catcher Paul Phillips provided the Royals' biggest highlight, hitting a grand slam with two outs in the ninth, his first major league homer.

"I'm excited I hit a home run and I'm excited it was a grand slam, but it's way overshadowed by the way we played," Phillips said. "It's never easy losing one game much less this many."

Kansas City has given up 10 or more runs seven times during their losing streak, while pitching to a 7.40 ERA. The Royals were outscored, 26-11, and out-hit, 37-19, in the series against the Mariners. They are on pace to set a club record with 109 losses.

"We've got to give ourselves a chance," said Bell, who took over as manager on May 31, three weeks after Tony Pena resigned.