Orioles 2, Mariners 1
The Mariners have been doing that quite a bit lately, much to the dismay of manager Bob Melvin.
The Mariners totaled two runs in losing the final two games of the three-game series and went 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position in dropping two of three.
“I get tired of tipping our hat to every pitcher,” Melvin said. “We’ve got to find a way to break out of this thing. It’s frustrating for everybody right now; we just can’t score any runs.”
The Mariners have lost four of five and 11 of 17. But Oakland and Boston also lost Sunday, so Seattle remained two games behind the Athletics in the AL West and 1 1/2 games back of Red Sox in the wild-card race.
That is of small consolation to the Mariners, who are running out of time in which to make a move.
“If we want to play in October, we better pick it up now,” second baseman Bret Boone said. “Not a couple days from now, but now. Right now other teams are playing Oakland tough, so we’re right there. These are opportunities for us, but we’re not taking advantage.”
Roberts went 2-for-4 and capped a two-run third inning against Freddy Garcia with an RBI single. He went 9-for-14 in the series.
“We don’t care who wins their division,” Roberts said. “We’re playing for our own pride, and a lot of us are playing for our jobs.”
Hentgen (6-7) struck out three and walked two. Over his last two starts, the 1996 Cy Young Award winner has given up just one run and eight hits in 16 innings.
The Orioles have an option to sign Hentgen next year for $4 million, and the right-hander is certainly making a solid case for his return.
“That’s out of my control. I just go out and pitch,” he said.
Jorge Julio worked the ninth for his 32nd save, the second in two games.
Hentgen got the better of Garcia (11-14), who allowed only four hits and one earned run in seven innings but was betrayed by his defense.
The Orioles went up 2-0 in the third. Luis Matos drew a leadoff walk and scored when Mike Cameron fumbled Robert Machado’s single to center. Roberts then extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single.
That proved to be enough offense to beat the struggling Mariners.
“The pitchers are keeping us in every game. We’re not doing anything about it,” Boone said. “The offense is just sputtering right now.”
Seattle’s inability to come up with a clutch hit was typified in the eighth. With a runner on second and one out, Ichiro Suzuki grounded out. After MarkMcLemore walked, Carlos Guillen looked at a third strike to end the threat.
Seattle won the season series 5-4. … The Mariners have scored first in only one of their last 17 games. They’re 6-11 in that span. … Orioles 1B Jay Gibbons went 0-for-3 and is 4-for-41 over his last 11 games. … Baltimorehas won four of six since a nine-game losing streak.