Playing better on the road is one way the Seattle Mariners can keep themselves in the playoff race. They took a step toward that goal in their most recent outing.
The Mariners try to make it two straight wins away from home Wednesday night when they continue a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.
Ibanez and Ichiro Suzuki each had three hits in the Mariners’ 19-hit attack, one shy of their season high.
“It started out not looking like much of an offensive game and then our offense just took off,” manager John McLaren said. “Hopefully this is something that we can build on. We swung the bats collectively; it was not just a few guys doing it alone.”
Seattle (61-49) snapped a six-game road losing streak, winning away from Safeco Field for only the sixth time in 20 contests.
The Mariners, 24-27 on the road, remained one game behind wild card-leading Detroit.
Ibanez’s second home run of the game in the seventh put Seattle ahead to stay 4-3. He had gone 31 games and 116 at-bats without a homer.
“I was glad to get them, but there were a lot of big at-bats throughout the lineup,” Ibanez said. “We definitely did this as a team. I was glad to do what I did, but I wasn’t the only one who had big hits.”
Suzuki is batting .451 (14-for-31) with one homer, five RBIs, seven runs scored and three steals in seven games this season against the Orioles. He’s 100-for-263 (.380) lifetime against Baltimore, the highest average versus the Orioles for any player with 150 or more plate appearances since 1957.
Ramon Hernandez had three hits and two RBIs for Baltimore (52-59), which has lost two straight at home after winning eight in a row there.
“It got away from us in a hurry,” manager Dave Trembley said. “We had two outs in the seventh and were ahead by a run. They got some big hits, obviously.”
Since the All-Star break, Hernandez has gone 21-for-59 to raise his batting average 35 points to .271.
Felix Hernandez (7-6, 3.89 ERA) looks to beat the Orioles for the first time in three starts this season. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA against Baltimore this year, but both of his starts came at Safeco Field. Hernandez is 2-2 with a 5.65 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles, who are hitting .345 off him.
Hernandez was unable to win his second straight start despite a solid outing in Seattle’s 8-7, 12-inning victory over the Angels on Aug. 1. He allowed four runs and six hits in eight innings and struck out seven for the third consecutive start.
Jeremy Guthrie (7-3, 2.98) tries to win his fourth straight decision for the Orioles. The rookie right-hander failed in a bid to win his fourth consecutive start Thursday at Boston, allowing three runs and a season high-tying nine hits over 5 1-3 innings in Baltimore’s 7-4 loss.
While it was only the third time in 18 starts that Guthrie failed to pitch at least six innings, he did hold the opposition to three runs or fewer for the 16th time.
Guthrie limited the Mariners to two runs and six hits over six innings in an 8-3 victory at Seattle on July 17 in his only appearance against them.