SEATTLE (AP)—Brian Roberts welcomed finally being sought out following a game.
“I haven’t done anything good in like three weeks,” he said with a grin.
Roberts homered to open the eighth inning, capping Baltimore’s rally from a five-run deficit, and the Orioles beat Seattle 8-7 on Thursday night for their sixth win in seven games against the Mariners this season.
But Baltimore’s concern afterward was the health of starter Adam Loewen, who struggled again, and then admitted to manager Dave Trembley that he had soreness in his left forearm. Loewen said he has a constant dull soreness in his pitching arm that becomes sharper and more acute the more he throws.
Loewen will accompany the team to Chicago, then expects he’ll be going back to Baltimore for additional exams by team physicians.
“It’s starting to get worse,” Loewen said. “Hopefully it’s nothing serious. I don’t think it is. But there are two guys in the bullpen who are deserving to get the ball every fifth day. They deserve to get a shot.”
Loewen, who missed most of the 2007 season with an elbow injury, has yet to show any signs of recovering the form that made him a first-round draft pick in 2002. He escaped picking up his second loss thanks to an impressive rally by his teammates, and a strong performance from the Orioles bullpen.
Roberts provided the capper, jumping on a 1-0 pitch from reliever Sean Green (1-1), for his second homer of the season. It was a wild night overall where both Seattle and Baltimore saw leads evaporate and each team used six pitchers.
“This team amazes me, it really does,” Roberts said. “I know it’s still early, but we’re down 5-0, and it was not like we knew we were going to win or anything, but there was no panic.”
Seattle led 5-0 after battering Loewen for three innings. But that lead was gone in the seventh when the Orioles scored four times off Seattle’s bullpen. Kevin Millar had a sacrifice fly, Aubrey Huff hit an RBI single and the rally was capped by former Mariners prospect Adam Jones ripping a two-out, two-run double off the left-field wall off Mark Lowe. Jones barely missed a grand slam, but still gave Baltimore a 7-5 lead.
Jones, who never got an opportunity to completely display his potential in Seattle, had two doubles and three RBIs against his former team.
The lead was short-lived. Betancourt opened the seventh with a single off reliever Matt Albers and Trembley brought in lefty Jamie Walker to face Suzuki. Ahead in the count 2-1, Suzuki hit a two-run homer to right pulling Seattle even at 7-all.
Roberts then homered in the top of the eighth, in almost the same spot at Suzuki. It was the second straight night Seattle’s bullpen gave up a tie-breaking, eighth-inning homer to the Orioles. Nick Markakis homered off Ryan Rowland-Smith to give Baltimore a 3-2 win on Wednesday night. It was the seventh blown lead for Seattle’s relievers.
“When you’ve got a 5-0 lead you’ve got to slam the door and get it done. We didn’t do that,” said Mariners manager John McLaren, who was ejected in the seventh inning.
Jay Payton also homered for Baltimore, a solo shot in the fourth.
“We’ve probably come from behind more this year than we did all of last year,” Payton said. “We get down, we don’t feel like the game is over.”
Loewen had a 9.00 ERA in the first three innings of his starts so far this season, and that trend continued against Seattle. Loewen gave up Adrian Beltre’s solo homer in the second before falling apart in the third, allowing four runs.
Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn struggled as well, barely lasting five innings. He gave up two runs and six hits and walked three, throwing 53 strikes in 97 pitches. Washburn was hit on the right ankle with a line drive in the first inning, but X-rays were negative.
“I could feel it every time I pitched, but I don’t know that it affected me,” Washburn said.
McLaren was ejected after twice arguing with home plate umpire Casey Moser. McLaren first argued with Moser as he went to pull reliever Arthur Rhodes, then went back to home plate again after Rhodes left. He was tossed by Moser and became extremely animated. It was McLaren’s first ejection of the season.
Loewen has a career 10.80 ERA in four career games against Seattle. … Mariners trainer Rick Griffin participated in his 4,000th regular-season game with Seattle on Thursday. He has been with the team for 26 seasons.