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By Scott Johnson, The Sports Xchange May 1, 2013 2:40 AM
Nate McLouth and the Baltimore Orioles made quick work of Seattle on Tuesday night, even if it took more than 3 1/2 hours to finish the Mariners off.SEATTLE --
McLouth led off the game with a home run, and the Orioles delivered a four-run knockout punch in the first inning on the way to a 7-2 win. That was more than enough for Baltimore starter Jason Hammel, who pitched five innings of scoreless ball before giving up two runs in the sixth. Four Baltimore relievers finished off the win, which took 3 hours and 35 minutes. "It was a slow-paced game, to say the least," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after the game ended after 1:30 a.m. Eastern time. "Is it officially May yet? It's got to be past midnight." Baltimore pounded out 13 hits to snap a two-game losing streak. No. 9 hitter Chris Dickerson, who had one hit for the season entering Tuesday's game, singled in each of his first three at-bats, including a sixth-inning hit that drove in two runs and extended the Orioles' lead to 6-0. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, who had two doubles, has hit in nine consecutive games. Hammel, whose high school is an hour away by ferry from Safeco Field, didn't allow a run until Seattle's Michael Morse took him deep on a 3-1 pitch to lead off the sixth. Jason Bay and Justin Smoak followed with back-to-back singles, ending Hammel's night after 102 pitches. After Bay came around to score on Kelly Shoppach's RBI grounder, Hammel (4-1) was charged with two runs off seven hits over five-plus innings. He earned his fourth win in as many road starts this season. "He gave us a chance to win," Showalter said of Hammel, who graduated from South Kitsap High School. Morse homered for the second time in three games. He has a team-high eight home runs on the season. The Mariners had 10 hits but grounded into two inning-ending double plays and stranded 10 runners. Seattle starter Brandon Maurer (2-4) gave up six hits and four runs in four innings, and reliever Blake Beavan didn't fare much better. The former starter struggled in 2 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and three runs. The Orioles used five pitchers in the win, which was Baltimore's ninth in its past 13 games. Baltimore (16-11) jumped on Maurer from the outset, scoring two runs before the No. 3 hitter finished his at-bat. McLouth hit a 2-1 pitch over the fence in right field, and then Machado doubled and scored on two wild pitches. Matt Wieters added a two-run double with one out for a 4-0 Baltimore lead. By the time the inning was over, Maurer had given up four hits and a walk while facing eight batters. Maurer, who had given up four earned runs in his last three starts combined, settled down after that but didn't make it past the fourth. "Took a little longer to get loose tonight," Maurer said. Maurer, who now has a season ERA of 6.07, was eager to move past the performance. "I've got to go out there next time and not even worry about this one," he said. The loss ended a three-game winning streak for Seattle (12-17). NOTES: One day after making his season debut, Baltimore LHP Zach Britton was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday. Britton gave up six runs and 10 hits in Monday's 6-2 loss to the Mariners. RHP Zach Clark was recalled from Norfolk to take Britton's roster spot. ... The Orioles optioned C Luis Exposito to Norfolk and selected the contract of C Chris Snyder, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. ... Mariners minor league catching coordinator John Stearns served as the third base coach again, marking the second consecutive game he has filled in there. Regular third base coach Jeff Datz announced last weekend that he has been diagnosed with cancer. "Datz just hasn't been feeling well as of late," manager Eric Wedge said, adding that the Mariners will be taking it day to day in regards to when Datz will be available. ... The Mariners signed veteran OF Corey Patterson to a minor league contract, then assigned him to extended spring training in Arizona.