Mariners Game Recap: Orioles Soar, M’s Bore in Opener

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2. 62. 3. 11. Final

The Baltimore Orioles (57-54) powered past the Seattle Mariners (52-61), 3-2 on Monday night at Safeco Field. Wei-Yin Chen (6-6, 3.21 ERA) shut down the M’s this evening, earning his 6th win of the season. Vidal Nuno (0-2, 2.64 ERA) pitched well, but was credited with the loss for the home side. Zach Britton managed to snuff out a potential 9th inning rally to pick up his 28th save of the season.

Vidal Nuno did a really nice job for Seattle on Monday, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits through 5 solid innings of work. The 28-year-old southpaw struck out 5 and walked none in his second career start in a Mariners’ uniform. However, he did struggle a bit keeping the ball in the yard. He served up a solo home run to center field in the top of the 1st that put the M’s in an early hole. Nuno had good command of his arsenal, as 64 of his 94 pitches found the strike zone. All in all, I believe Nuno has earned himself another start in the rotation.

Lloyd McClendon has been forced to use his bullpen extensively in recent games, and this evening was no different. Mayckol Guaipe was asked to pitch 3 innings in relief for Seattle, and overall, he pitched admirably. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed 1 run on 1 hit, while striking out 1 and walking 1. Rob Rasmussen was called on to pitch in the 9th. The young southpaw was demolished in extra innings on Saturday, allowing 6 runs on 6 hits and failing to record an out. However, he put that behind him this evening, hurling a scoreless frame to keep the Mariners in the game.

Wei-Yin Chen was very effective for the visitors, working into the 8th inning on Monday for Baltimore. Chen quieted the M’s bats, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits across 7.1 innings. The 29-year-old lefty fanned 5 while issuing a pair of free passes. A solo home run was Chen’s lone blemish as he cruised to an easy win. Zach Britton accomplished something rarely seen in baseball, the 27-year-old recorded a 5-out save. Britton surrendered 1 run on 2 hits and tallied 4 strikeouts in 1.2 innings to earn his 28th save of the season.

Franklin Gutierrez missed nearly a week battling the flu, but he showed no signs of rust tonight. Guti tied the game in the 2nd inning on a high fly ball to left field that just snuck over the wall. The 32-year-old provided the M’s with a heartbeat in the 9th when he doubled on a line drive to center field. Ketel Marte also had a nice game for Seattle, finishing 1 for 3 with a walk.

Aug 10, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Nelson Cruz (23) catches a fly ball for an out against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Nelson Cruz extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a single in the 4th inning. Cruz’s streak is the longest active streak in the league, and ties Jason Kipnis for the second longest of the season. 20 games also represents a new career high for the 35-year-old. Unfortunately, Cruz was unable to extend his 9-game extra-base hit streak. His streak ends just 1 game shy of the franchise record set by Ken Griffey Jr. Cruz is having a season he will never forget, and watching him hit has been one of the few bright spots for Mariners’ fans this season.

Chris Davis and his Ned Flanders stache led the way for the O’s tonight. The 29-year-old first baseman finished 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI. Davis is one of the top hitters in baseball since the All-Star break, and Seattle will have to slow him down this week if they have any hope of winning the series. Former Mariner, Adam Jones finished 2 for 4 with a solo home run and 2 runs scored. Jones was part of the worst trade in M’s history, and he seemingly makes his former club pay every time he plays in Seattle.

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The Orioles have owned the Mariners over the last couple seasons. The M’s came out flat tonight, and it cost them. The O’s were far from dominant, but Seattle lacked any punch. The loss means the Mariners have dropped to 9 games back of the Houston Astros in the American League West.

The Seattle Mariners (52-61) will hope to get back on track Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles (57-54) at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Taijuan Walker (8-7, 4.67 ERA) has allowed 3 runs or less in each of his last 3 outings, and he will be on the bump for Seattle. Chris Tillman (8-7, 4.35 ERA) will get the ball for the O’s tomorrow night. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Next: Mariners Game Notes: Cruz Looks to Extend Hitting Streak to 20

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