Orioles 3, Mariners 1
BALTIMORE (AP)—Jay Gibbons didn’t have to do much more than put the ball in play when he stepped to the plate in the eighth inning with the bases loaded, no outs and the score tied.
In that situation, the batter is at a distinct advantage.
“Usually, except when you haven’t had a hit in a week,” Gibbons joked afterward.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Orioles, who were limited to one hit after the first inning until taking the lead in the eighth against Shigetoshi Hasegawa (1-3), who entered in relief of starter Jamie Moyer.
That brought up Gibbons, who was batting .206 after going hitless since Friday.
“I was just trying to hit something hard, because it’s been a while since I did that,” he said.
After swinging at a pitch in the dirt, Gibbons lined a single up the middle, scoring Tejada and Palmeiro. Lopez was thrown out at third, but the damage was done.
“It’s been a struggle. Luckily, he just left one out over the plate,” Gibbons said. “I was just trying to put it in play, and fortunately it found a hole.”
Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli never lost faith in Gibbons, who hit .277 with 100 RBIs last year.
“I definitely felt confident when he was up there,” Mazzilli said. “This kid didn’t knock in 100 runs by mistake.”
The Orioles were stymied by Moyer but feasted on Hasegawa, whose ERA climbed to 7.20.
“I thought I made a good pitch on all the pitches. They hit, they hit,” Hasegawa said. “Sometimes it happens like this.”
Seattle manager Bob Melvin considered using a left-hander against the left-handed hitting Gibbons, but opted to stay with Hasegawa.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, the strategy backfired.
“We only had really one right-hander available out of the bullpen today and he just didn’t have it,” Melvin said. “If we had another right-hander, we probably would have gone to a lefty with Gibbons. But Shiggy has been known to get guys from both sides out.”
It was the sixth loss in seven games for the Mariners, who managed only four hits—none after the fourth inning.
“We had nine left on base, seven or eight in the first five innings,” Melvin said. “We had our chances, but we didn’t come up with the big hit.”
Moyer, who came in 14-2 lifetime against Baltimore, allowed one run on four hits over seven innings. He walked four, struck out three, and lowered his ERA from 6.26 to 5.10.
“He threw some cutters on both sides of the plate, some fastballs early on,” Melvin said. “He gets a pretty good read on batters and what they’re trying to do.”
The Orioles got a run in the first when Brian Roberts hit a leadoff double, stole third and scored when Tejada hit into a double play.
Seattle tied it against Kurt Ainsworth in the fourth. After two walks and an infield hit loaded the bases with two outs, Randy Winn hit a bouncer up the middle that a diving Tejada speared at shortstop. But he was unable to make a throw, allowing Raul Ibanez to score his team-high 14th run.
Ainsworth was pulled after throwing 91 pitches—only 50 in the strike zone—over five innings. He allowed one run on four hits and issued four walks.
“He could have went out for another inning, but his shoulder was sore after his last start and I didn’t want to push it,” Mazzilli said.
Parrish walked the first batter he faced before getting nine straight outs.
Gibbons was hit by a pitch in the first inning, the fourth time in two games that Seattle pitchers hit an Orioles batter. Ainsworth subsequently hit John Olerud with a pitch in the second inning. … Seattle 3B Scott Spiezio has reached base in all 11 games since being activated from the disabled list April17. … Baltimore’s 11-8 start is its best since 2000.