Mariners 8, Orioles 6
BALTIMORE (AP)—The Baltimore Orioles blew a four-run lead, lost four players to injuries and left 13 runners on base.
The Seattle Mariners, not surprisingly, had a much better day.
“We’ll take it,” manager Mike Hargrove said. “The guys have played hard all season long. Today we were able to carry it through.”
Seattle came through at the right times. The Mariners had 10 hits and went 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
The Orioles had 15 hits but went 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left the bases loaded twice, including in the ninth when they once had runners on second and third with one out.
“I think the key for us was the fourth inning when we had the bases loaded, nobody out, and we weren’t able to put that game away,” Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. “I sat there and said, ‘I hope that doesn’t come back and haunt us,’ but that ended up being the case.”
The Orioles finished the game with an unusual defensive alignment due to several injuries. They had Ramon Hernandez at first, Melvin Mora at second with Chris Gomez playing shortstop, and Jeff Conine at third base. Luis Terrero went to left field, and Chavez was catching as Perlozzo had to scramble to fill holes.
Only two Orioles starters remained in their original defensive positions.
Miguel Tejada kept his consecutive games streak alive at 943, but knee soreness forced him out in the sixth. He said he’d likely be a designated hitter in Sunday’s game. Also, second baseman Brian Roberts left in the seventh with a strained groin.
Perlozzo said the Orioles would make decisions about any roster moves on Sunday morning.
The Mariners rallied from the early deficit to break a nine-game losing streak in Baltimore that dated to April 2004. Orioles starter Bruce Chen had limited Seattle to one hit through the first four innings.
Everett homered in the fifth to make it 4-1. Suzuki doubled to start the sixth and scored on Willie Bloomquist’s single. Bloomquist later scored on an errant pickoff throw. Kenji Johjima tied the game with a broken-bat single off reliever Jim Brower (0-1).
“That was big for us today,” Betancourt said. “I didn’t try to do too much, just put the ball in play. I wanted to keep everything positive and have a quality at-bat.”
Tejada cut the lead to 7-5 with an RBI single in the sixth and Conine drove in a run with a seventh-inning groundout. But Beltre greeted Baltimore reliever Sandy Rleal with a solo homer in the eighth.
Hernandez (1-3) got the win despite struggling through five innings. He allowed four runs and 10 hits as the Orioles repeatedly pounded his fastball.
“This was huge for me because I kept the team in the game,” Hernandez said. “To get out of that bases-loaded jam (in the fourth) was important.”
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the second on Markakis’ RBI single. That broke a five-game hitless streak for the rookie right fielder and scored Gomez, who was running for Millar. The first baseman was hit by Hernandez’s pitch to start the inning.
Corey Patterson added to his recent strong hitting with a three-run homer in the third, giving the Orioles a 4-0 lead. He also homered in Friday’s win over Seattle.
Tejada extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a fourth-inning single.
Tejada’s 943-game streak is the longest active run in the majors. … Terrero became the first Orioles player to be caught stealing this year after the team was successful on its first 20 attempts. … Suzuki has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. … The Mariners are 7-0 when leading after six innings.