Vidro homers, drive in 4 runs to lead Mariners past Orioles 8-4
Suzuki enjoyed his second straight three-hit game batting leadoff ahead of Vidro, who homered and drove in four runs to lead the Seattle Mariners to an 8-4 victory Wednesday night.
With the win, Seattle took over the lead in the AL wild card race. The Mariners lead Detroit by percentage points, and New York by a half game. The Tigers and Yankees both lost Wednesday night.
The Mariners scored 10 runs on 19 hits Tuesday night, then started this game in brilliant fashion. After Suzuki led off with a single, Vidro homered on a 1-1 pitch from Jeremy Guthrie for a 2-0 lead.
“It’s not a good feeling when you come off a game last night and all of a sudden they put two on the board as quickly as they did in the first inning,” Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. “You’ve got to be thinking, ‘Here we go again.”’
And so it was. The Mariners finished with 15 hits, including three homers, and have outscored Baltimore 18-7 in the first two games of the series that concludes Thursday.
“When Ichiro and I get on in front of the others, it really makes a difference,” said Vidro, who went 3-for-3 and scored twice. “We’ve got two or three guys hot at the same time right now and it’s great. This is what we’re capable of doing, and when we all start hitting at once, we’re going to be real tough.”
Vidro added sacrifice flies in the fourth and sixth to match his season high in RBIs.
Suzuki was in a 1-for-14 skid before coming to Baltimore, where he now has a .400 lifetime batting average.
“If we play the way we normally do, we’re capable of scoring a lot of runs,” he said. “We don’t need to do anything special.”
Felix Hernandez (8-6) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings. The victory improved the 21-year-old’s career record to 24-24; he hasn’t been over .500 since Aug. 2, 2006.
Guthrie (7-4) allowed five earned runs and eight hits in four innings, his second-shortest outing of the season. The rookie’s ERA swelled from 2.98 to 3.22, the highest it’s been since May 13.
“He had a bad night. He’s entitled to it,” Trembley said.
Guthrie admittedly wasn’t sharp, but he gave plenty of credit to the Mariners.
“That’s a pretty hot team, and they did a nice job tonight,” he said. “Every one of them are good hitters. It’s a tough lineup, one through nine.”
After yielding three earned runs in only one of his first 11 starts, Guthrie has done it in five of his last eight outings.
Vidro got the Mariners started with his fourth home run, the first in 207 at-bats since May 25. Baltimore got a run in the bottom of the first when Corey Patterson tripled and scored on a single by Markakis.
After the Mariners scored an unearned run in the third, Baltimore pulled even in its half when Kevin Millar hit a run-scoring double and scored on a single by Tejada.
A sacrifice fly by Vidro and a two-run homer by Guillen made it 6-3 in the fourth. Ibanez homered to center on reliever Rob Bell’s first pitch in the fifth inning, and Markakis hit a run-scoring groundout in the bottom half.
The game-time temperature was announced at 101 degrees. … Guthrie has allowed 14 homers this season, four in his last two starts. … Seattle OF Ben Broussard returned to the team after missing Tuesday’s game to be his wife, who gave birth to the couple’s second daughter Monday. … The Mariners have been outscored 90-60 in the first inning this season.