The O’s took the middle game of the series from the Mariners, 4-2, setting up the possible sweep tomorrow. Chris Tillman got his second win of the season while the Orioles gave Felix Hernandez the loss. Kevin Gregg recorded the save.
Tillman’s struggles on the mound continued into this game as the M’s took an early lead in the third inning. Brendan Ryan and Michael Saunders lead off the inning with a hit by pitch and a walk. Chone Figgins drove in Ryan with a single up the middle, the first hit off Tillman on the night.
The O’s got the run right back in the bottom of the inning as Brian Roberts also started off the inning with a walk and Felix Pie singled up the middle to get Roberts to third. Derrek Lee hit a sacrifice fly to tie up the game.
Baltimore broke the tie in the fifth when Lee got the two-out single to start it off and Vladimir Guerrero was hit by a pitch. Luke Scott brought in Lee with a single up the middle to put the Orioles up. Adam Jones continued his dominance at the plate, adding two more runs on a triple to right field.
Saunders got his second homer of the year—and second against the O’s—in the seventh to bring Seattle within two but they never got closer.
Tillman showed some promise in his 6.0 innings of work, giving up one run and three hits but went deep in the count too many times on the night, leading him to throw 112 pitches. He walked three and struck out five with 66 of his pitches being for strikes—matching his season high for K’s. Tillman faced only three batters in three of his innings, getting the big outs when necessary and causing the M’s to go 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position, leaving five on, while he was on the mound.
Jason Berken came on in the seventh to go 1.0 inning and gave up a run on a homer. Koji Uehara took the mound in the eighth, pitching back-to-back games for the first time this season. He gave up one hit before finishing the inning. Kevin Gregg came on to close the game, retiring the side in order with two strike outs.
Hernandez went 5.0 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits, uncharacteristically going deep in the count many times as well. He walked three and struck out four. David Pauley came out of the pen in relief for 3.0 innings, facing 10 batters and giving up three hits.
Jones has gone 7-for-10 with five RBIs in the first two games of this series against his former team as his bat has come storming alive of late. Tonight, he went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, being the only Oriole with a multi-hit game. J.J. Hardy keeps proving himself as the starting shortstop as tonight he made several great plays on the field, including a diving catch to end the eighth inning that stranded a runner to keep the lead and catching a line out off the bat of Ichiro for the final out of the game.
Oriole offense hit into the double digits again tonight with 10 hits as they start to come alive again.
Tomorrow’s series finale will have Zach Britton (5-2) facing Jason Vargas (2-2).