The Mariners couldn’t capitalize on their series win over the Rangers, managing just five hits in a 3-2 loss to Baltimore (box score). Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen pitched well at Safeco Field for the second year in a row, allowing just one run on three hits over 7.1 innings.
The home runs by Baltimore’s Adam Jones and Chris Davis were noteworthy — not just because they were 400-plus shots to center field, but because of what happened after they cleared the fence.
Jones’s first-inning homer was just to the left of the centerfield seats. A red-clad fan decided it would be a good idea to try to catch the ball with his hat, which the ball carried into the abyss. Five innings later, when Davis hit a two-run homer a few rows to the right, another red-clad fan sitting four seats away reached forward with his Chicago Cubs hat and had the same result: No ball, no hat.
LHP Vidal Nuno, whom manager Lloyd McClendon said before the game will continue to fill in as starter, did his part. He allowed five hits and two runs over five innings. The Mariners couldn’t have asked for much more out of the converted reliever. The bullpen was just as effective, despite RHP Mayckol Guaipe giving up the Davis homer, as Guaipe (3 IP) and LHP Rob Rasmussen (1 IP) had their best outings of the year.
RF Nelson Cruz extended his hitting streak to a career-best 20 games, and LF Franklin Gutierrez returned from a three-day bout with the flu to homer on his first at-bat. But that was just about all Seattle could manage against Chen.
Seattle had chances to tie in the eighth and ninth innings but couldn’t capitalize, as a Kyle Seager strikeout in the eighth and Robinson Cano grounding into a double play (n the ninth squandered the opportunities. The second run came when a two-out strikeout resulted in a passed ball, allowing batter Austin Jackson to reach first and Gutierrez to score from third. Jesus Montero then struck out.
“You’ve got to tip your cap to them, so to speak . . . A lot of times fans don’t realize how
fast that ball is coming. But both were good attempts.” – Orioles 1B Chris Davis on the
failed attempts by fans to catch a pair of home run balls in centerfield
Jones homered for the third time in his past five series played at Seattle. The former Mariner last homered at Safeco Field on July 4, 2012, before giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the top of the first . . . Manager Lloyd McClendon said before the game that the Mariners might begin monitoring the innings of rookie pitchers Taijuan Walker and Mike Montgomery. Walker, who turns 23 this week, has pitched 129 innings heading into his Tuesday start. He threw a career-high 141.1 innings in the minors and during a late-season callup in 2013 . . . The Orioles made a roster move, swapping RHP Chaz Roe (15-day disabled list) for RHP Mychal Givens (called up from Double-A) in their bullpen.
Walker (8-7, 4.67 ERA) will start against Chris Tillman (8-7, 4.35 ERA). The former Seattle farmhand, who had his start pushed back twice because of a tender ankle, is 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA over his past six starts. Hey, at least the Mariners got Erik Bedard out of the deal.
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Last year Chen shut out the Mariners in Safeco. I’ll chalk this one more to him having a hoodoo over the M’s than the Mariners laying an egg.
Chen is good. Tonight’s Orioles starter Tiliman is better. And a former Mariner.