It was a memorable day for Mariners young shortstop Chris Taylor.
In just his second major-league start, Taylor drove in the Mariners’ first run against Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez on Sunday with a second-inning double down the third-base line. It was his first extra-base hit and his first RBI in the majors.
“He’s an impressive young man,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He knows what he’s doing at the plate and he’s pretty smooth in the field. I like what I’ve seen.”
Taylor, 23, also showed why his defense had earned such high regard in the minors. In the sixth inning, he ranged far to his right and dived to knock down a ground ball, preventing the Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop from scoring from second.
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Taylor got up and tried to get a force-out at second base, but the throw was low and wide; Robinson Cano scooped up the throw and nearly threw out Schoop, who had rounded third base.
“I actually thought I should have made the play,” Taylor said. “I stumbled a little bit. Luckily he didn’t score; Cano made a great play at second to save the run on a bad throw.”
With the score tied at 1-1 and the bases loaded in the eighth inning, Taylor made another nice stop in the hole, this time on a grounder from Manny Machado. But Taylor’s off-balance throw to second base was high, pulling Cano off the bag on the would-be force play.
Machado was credited with an infield single on the play as Adam Jones scored from third to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
“That one was frustrating,” Taylor said. “I really thought I should’ve had that. It got away from me a little bit, but that happens. It’s baseball, but I’ll make the play next time.”
Taylor, who made his major-league debut on Thursday, has three hits in his first eight at-bats with the Mariners.
“There’s still a little bit of the jitters,” he said, “but I’m feeling more comfortable when I play out there. I try to look at the positives and move forward from there.”
Ackley stays hot in No. 2 spot
Dustin Ackley was 3 for 5 on Sunday while hitting in the No. 2 spot for the second day in a row. He had two doubles and two runs scored hitting second on Saturday.
The left fielder has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, and he has four three-hit games in July. Overall this month, Ackley is hitting .375 (27 for 72) in 21 games.
“I’m trying not to think about what spot I’m in or where I’m at, but I felt good at the plate and I’m just going to try keep it going,” he said.