SEATTLE -- Not even Joe Saunders' former teammates could end the left-hander's inexplicable run of success at Safeco Field on Monday.
The Baltimore Orioles became the latest victim of Saunders, who pitched the Mariners' first complete game of the season and gave Seattle its third consecutive win, 6-2, in front of a record-low crowd of 9,818 at Safeco Field.
Baltimore's eight-game winning streak against Seattle ended, and the Orioles (15-11) suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time since April 7-8. The Mariners (12-16) have won three consecutive games for the first time this season.
Saunders, who has a 12.51 ERA on the road this season, gave up his first two earned runs at home but allowed just four hits in his first complete game in more than a year.
After Matt Wieters hit a two-run home run off Saunders in the fourth, the 31-year-old left-hander retired the final 16 batters he faced -- striking out Adam Jones to finish the game. The only baserunner Saunders allowed over the final five innings came when he walked Chris Davis to lead off the seventh. A double play ended that threat.
Saunders now has eight complete games in his career, with the previous one coming April 27, 2012. On Monday, he struck out two and issued just the one walk.
"It's always significant," Saunders said of getting a complete game. "That's what all pitchers want to do, but it's frickin' hard to do. You need to get some breaks, get some quick outs. The defense was great (Monday), so that helped; we got some quick outs."
The former Oriole has now gone 8-0 with a 1.75 ERA in 12 career starts at Safeco, mostly as a visiting pitcher. He beat the Mariners 3-1 with an eight-inning, one-run performance in Seattle while with Baltimore last September.
After Monday's game, Saunders disclosed for the first time that he was fighting through a quad injury in his prior start -- a 7-0 loss at Texas -- but he couldn't fully explain why he's given up 19 earned runs in three road starts this season but just two in three starts at Safeco.
"Notoriously, I'm better on the road," he said, "so I've got to figure that out."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, "He mixed in a lot of different pitches, like he does. He's been pitching for a long time. We just didn't make the adjustment to what he was doing."
Saunders got plenty of offense from a Mariners team that collected 11 hits, including 10 off Baltimore starter Zach Britton (0-1). Seattle's Michael Saunders led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run and added another RBI during the Mariners' three-run sixth.
Britton, who was making his season debut, gave up six runs on 10 hits in six innings.
"It was OK, all things considered," Showalter said. "I thought he was throwing well. He gave us a chance. We just didn't do much off Saunders."
Britton's outing was briefly interrupted by a bizarre sequence in the bottom of the sixth, during which he was hit in the pitching shoulder by a ball thrown by plate umpire Alan Porter. After giving up a leadoff single to Justin Smoak, Britton wasn't looking when Porter threw a replacement ball toward him.
Orioles trainers came out to look at Britton, who was wincing in pain but eventually stayed in the game. He faced five more batters in that inning, eventually giving up four hits and three runs in what would be his final inning before Tommy Hunter took over with the Orioles trailing 6-2.
Britton's second pitch of the night resulted in a home run by Michael Saunders, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list a few hours earlier.
Saunders hit a 1-0 pitch 401 feet over the fence in left-center field, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead.
That held up until the top of the fourth, when Wieters hit a 2-2 pitch over the left field fence. The two-out, two-run homer gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead and ended Joe Saunders' 17-inning streak without allowing an earned run at home.
The Mariners got to Britton, who was called up from Triple-A Norfolk last week, in the fourth inning. Seattle had three hits and two walks in that inning, scoring twice to take a 3-2 lead before Britton retired Kyle Seager on a flyout with the bases loaded.
Seattle left fielder Jason Bay had three hits, including an RBI double in the fourth. Bay is hitting .500 (7-for-14) with three runs and four RBIs during the current homestand.
After dropping five of six games during a recent road trip through Texas, the Mariners have won four of five games.
"They've been moving in the right direction for about a week now," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "You slowly move forward and have those little victories."
When it came to explaining the Safeco Field success of Joe Saunders, Wedge had no clear answer.
"That's the beauty of baseball," he said. "Some guys just have more success versus certain teams, certain hitters or at certain places."
NOTES: Before the game, Wedge announced that starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma would get a couple of extra days off between starts in an effort to heal the blister on his pitching hand. Iwakuma, who pitched six innings without allowing an earned run in Sunday's win over the Los Angeles Angels, will take advantage of a Thursday off day and is scheduled to be back on the mound Sunday at Toronto. Joe Saunders will pitch Saturday on his regular four days of rest. ... The Mariners activated Michael Saunders before the game. Saunders, who had been on the disabled list with a strained shoulder, hit leadoff and played center field. To make room on the roster, Seattle sent outfielder Carlos Peguero back to Triple-A Tacoma. ... The first-inning homer by Seattle's Michael Saunders marked the fourth time this season that the Mariners have opened a game with a home run. ... Minor league catching coordinator John Stearns served as the Mariners' third base coach. Jeff Datz, the usual third base coach, announced over the weekend that he has been diagnosed with cancer and that he'll probably be unavailable for games periodically this season.