Mariners 6, Orioles 5
“I really don’t like facing guys like that,” he said.
But Beltre worked a bases loaded walk from Bradford with two outs in the eighth inning on Wednesday night, forcing in Jose Vidro with the winning run in the Mariners’ 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Beltre showed patience, working the count to 3-2 before fouling off a pair of borderline pitches. Bradford’s eighth offering to Beltre missed well outside and Vidro jogged home with the go-ahead run after Seattle had let a four-run lead slip away.
“We had great at-bats today,” Vidro said. “We scored runs on walks, we scored runs on wild pitches.”
Seattle took two of three from Baltimore and finished 4-3 on its seven-game homestand after the All-Star break, moving within a game of Cleveland in the wild card and 1 1/2 games of the Angels in the AL West. The Mariners play their next eight on the road before returning home for a nine-game homestand that includes games with Oakland, the Angels and Boston.
The Mariners head to Toronto on a high following their eighth inning rally.
Yuniesky Betancourt started it with his third hit of the night—a double that bounced off the left-field wall on a hop—and came on the first pitch from reliever Danys Baez (0-5). Ichiro Suzuki then flew out to the wall in right field and Betancourt advanced to third. Vidro was intentionally walked and Baez was pulled for Bradford.
Jose Guillen was hit by the second pitch from Bradford to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez hit a weak grounder to first and Kevin Millar threw home to get the force on Betancourt, before Beltre’s walk.
Seattle then turned to J.J. Putz, who got a pair of fly outs and a ground ball in the ninth to record his 28th save and 30th consecutive dating to last season.
“What I understand, in years past this might have cost (us) a game, because they would get down on themselves because the other team came back and tied it,” Seattle manager John McLaren said. “We’ve got the karma and presence in our team now that if something happens we’re going to battle through it.”
Baltimore rallied from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game in the seventh. Part of that rally was a pop up by Corey Patterson that Betancourt and left fielder Ben Broussard misplayed. The ball tipped off Betancourt’s glove, hit the leg of a sliding Broussard and fell to the grass. That misplay allowed the next batter, Nick Markakis, to drive in the tying run with a sacrifice fly.
“I felt like I was going to catch it all the way, but suddenly it hit me,” Broussard said.
Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn appeared well in control until the sixth. Brian Roberts scored after leading off with a double, and the Orioles scored two more in the seventh. Jay Payton scored the second run on Chris Gomez’s single to right, diving around catcher Kenji Johjima, who had to move slightly off the plate to catch Guillen’s throw from right.
Reliever George Sherrill entered and walked Roberts, then Patterson’s flare dropped into left field. Sean Green (3-1) finally ended the threat, getting a groundball from Millar, and pitched a perfect eighth to get the win.
Washburn went 6 1-3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and striking out five.
Daniel Cabrera started on three days’ rest for Baltimore in place of Erik Bedard, who was scratched with a stiff neck. Cabrera beat Seattle and Washburn in early June, but couldn’t repeat his success.
He pitched five innings, giving up eight hits and five runs. He was hit hard for the second straight game, having allowed five runs and eight hits against the White Sox last Saturday, but wasn’t bothered by the short rest.
“Daniel is a horse. The more he pitches, the better,” Baltimore interim manager Dave Trembley said.
Seattle capitalized on a pair of Cabrera walks to start the second inning, with Betancourt and Suzuki hitting consecutive RBI singles to drive in a pair. Broussard singled to start the third and later scored on Cabrera’s wild pitch.
In the fourth, Suzuki lined a two-out ground-rule double into the Mariners bullpen in left-center field, then scored when Vidro grounded the next pitch into center.
Broussard added a solo homer in the fifth. Payton also homered in the second for Baltimore.
Bedard, baseball’s lead in strikeouts with 156, will start on Friday in Oakland. … Roberts stole third in the sixth innings, his American League-leading 29th of the season. … Washburn has pitched at least six innings in six of his last seven starts.