After ending their three-game skid with a wild victory, the Baltimore Orioles have a good chance to begin a streak in the right direction against a Seattle pitcher with one of the worst records in the majors.
The Orioles look to win back-to-back games for the first time in more than two weeks Wednesday afternoon when they conclude their visit to Seattle against struggling starter Hector Noesi.
With Wei-Yin Chen perfect through six innings, Baltimore (43-37) appeared ready to cruise after scoring four times in the sixth Tuesday. However, Seattle tied the score in the eighth before Robert Andino's two-out solo homer in the ninth gave the Orioles a 5-4 victory.
"There was a lot of opportunity there to give in and keel over, but Robert had a big swing for us after a couple tough things,'' manager Buck Showalter said.
Though Baltimore won for the fourth time in 14 games, it's guaranteed to have a winning record at the All-Star break for only the second time since 1998. The Orioles were 47-40 at the break in 2005, but finished 74-88.
Called up from the minors for the second time in less than a week after Brian Roberts was placed on the disabled list with a strained right groin, rookie Xavier Avery had three hits to help the Orioles win for the second time in eight games at Safeco Field.
Andino's third hit in his last 28 at-bats was his first home run since May 7.
Trying to win two straight for the first time since June 16-17, the Orioles hope to add to Noesi's recent struggles.
Tied for the most losses in the majors in his first season as a starter, Noesi (2-10, 5.69 ERA) is 0-7 in 10 starts since beating Minnesota on May 6. The right-hander gave up five runs - all on four homers - in five innings of a 5-0 loss to Boston on Friday.
"I was missing my pitches again, just putting them in the middle," Noesi told the Mariners' official website.
Though Noesi has certainly struggled of late, his teammates have totaled one run in his last four starts.
He went 1-1 with a 1.08 ERA in five relief appearance versus Baltimore last season with the New York Yankees.
Casper Wells' seventh inning homer broke up Chen's perfect game and was one of five hits for the Mariners (35-48). Wells is 3 for 7 with four RBIs in the series.
Seattle hopes to bounce back in this decisive finale against Chris Tillman, who makes his season debut for the Orioles after going 7-8 with a 3.67 ERA in 15 starts at Triple-A Norfolk. The right-hander went 3-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 13 starts last season for Baltimore, but was optioned to the minors despite posting a 2.92 ERA in five appearances - one start - during spring training.
"This is what I've worked all season for," Tillman told the Orioles' official website. "I've gotten in a good routine and it's working well. I'm real excited."
Originally drafted in the second round by the Mariners in 2006, Tillman allowed a run and three hits over six innings of a 4-2 win in his only start versus Seattle on May 11, 2011.