Mariners 13, Orioles 1
SEATTLE (AP)—The Seattle Mariners’ biggest inning of the season shocked even themselves.
“That was big for us,” first-year manager Bob Melvin said of the Mariners’ fifth. “We’ve had trouble putting any crooked number up there lately. To put two numbers up there in one inning, that’s pretty good.”
Seattle scored all 10 runs with two outs, and five of the runs came after third baseman Tony Batista’s fielding error. The 10-run inning was a run shy of the Mariners’ record, last done in 1984.
The Mariners came into the game with eight losses in 10 games, which included a season-worst six-game losing streak.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit swinging the bats,” Melvin said. “I think as a group all the way across the board, everybody swung the bats today.”
Sanchez, 35, is hitting .344 in 26 games since being acquired in a trade by the Mariners with the New York Mets on July 29. He was hitting .207 in 56 games with the Mets.
“It’s been great here and that makes it a lot easier to come out and play ball and do what I’m doing,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez, who lost most of his playing time in New York to rookie Jose Reyes, has been the Mariners’ regular shortstop. He said he’s been re-energized in Seattle.
“You get a sense of being part of something here,” he said. “It’s a winning team and it pushes you to a different level.”
The Mariners cut Oakland’s lead to 1 1/2 games and they moved ahead of Boston by a half game in the wild-card race. The Athletics played Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
The Orioles committed three errors, leading to seven unearned runs, and lost their seventh in a row. Baltimore has dropped 15 of their last 19 to fall to a season-worst 13 games under .500.
Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove was upset that starting pitcher Damian Moss threw more balls (49) than strikes (47).
“It all starts and ends with pitching,” Hargrove said. “We couldn’t throw strikes. Any time you throw that many pitches and it’s 50-50 at best (balls and strikes), you are courting disaster.”
Meche (14-10) became the first pitcher in the major leagues since 1956 to win 14 games after missing the previous two seasons. Meche missed the 2001 season when he underwent two major shoulder surgeries and pitched at Double-A San Antonio last season.
Vinegar Bend Mizell was 14-14 in 1956 with St. Louis after missing the 1954-55 seasons because he was in the military.
Meche, who had dropped three consecutive starts since his last win on Aug. 9, pitched six innings and gave up one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out a season-high eight. His eight strikeouts tied his career high.
Meche, 24, has pitched 164 innings in 27 starts this season. He pitched 65 innings in 13 starts at San Antonio last season. He also pitched in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Meche denied he has been bothered by shoulder or arm fatigue. He said “location” was the secret for his success against the Orioles.
“I was able to locate the fastball and I was able to stay down in the zone pretty much the whole game,” he said. “It was one of those games where I didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes. When you do those things, good things are going to happen.”
Leading 3-1, the Mariners sent 14 batters to the plate in the fifth and had seven hits and four walks, while also benefiting from a wild pitch and Batista’s error that led to five unearned runs in the inning.
Guillen doubled in Seattle’s first run of the fifth, Sanchez had a two-run single, Ben Davis doubled in two runs and scored on Batista’s error that would have been the third out, Ichiro Suzuki scored on Rick Bauer’s wild pitch, Bret Boone had an RBI single and Guillen doubled in two more runs.
An error by second baseman Brian Roberts on an attempted pickoff play led to an unearned run by Seattle in the first and a throwing error by Moss (1-3) gave the Mariners a second unearned run in the second.
In 4 2-3 innings, Moss gave up seven runs—five earned—on seven hits and four walks, with no strikeouts.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Roberts’ double, LuisMatos’ sacrifice and Jeff Conine’s RBI fielder’s choice.
The Mariners scored 10 or more runs in an inning for the fourth time in the franchise’s 27-year history. … Mariners DH Edgar Martinez has been playing with a broken big toe on his left foot this month, team doctors have determined. Martinez, 40, suffered the broken toe when he fouled a ball off his foot in a game on Aug. 23 in Boston. … Martinez had his 487th career doubleto move past Lou Brock and Billy Herman for 49th place on the all-time list.