After being swept at home by the Angels last weekend, the Mariners responded by winning a road series against the American League East-leading Orioles.

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BALTIMORE — In baseball parlance they are called “wall scrapers,” because they barely clear the outfield wall.

On Thursday, two Mariners home runs fitting that description were difference-makers in a 7-2 win over the Orioles.

Adam Lind’s three-run, opposite-field homer into the first row of seats in left field and Leonys Martin’s two-run blast that hit off the top of the right-field fence and bounced over might have been outs at Safeco Field and most parks in baseball.


Mariners @ Cincinnati, 4:10 p.m., ROOT Sports

But in the hitters’ paradise that is Camden Yards, they provided five runs of comfort in a victory that improved the Mariners’ record to 23-17.

“They were advantageous for us today,” manager Scott Servais said of the home runs. “We were in the right ballpark.”

After being swept at home by the Angels last weekend, the Mariners responded by winning a road series against the American League East-leading Orioles.

It was the first home series loss of the season for the Orioles. The Mariners have yet to lose a road series this season and have the American League’s best road record in at 15-7.

What’s the key to success?

“Well, we like hanging out together,” Servais deadpanned. “No, we’ve played well on the road. We have a lot of confidence. Our starting pitchers have kept us in games, and we’ve got a lot of big hits on the road, we really have.”

Lind’s sixth-inning homer off Orioles starter Tyler Wilson was the biggest hit Thursday, breaking open a 2-1 game.

“Finally,” Servais said with a laugh. “No, (Lind) had a nice game at home on the last homestand, but it was a big hit today, huge.

“It was kind of the story. We needed a big knock, and he hit it into a good spot in the ballpark. He’s hit some balls earlier in the year that could have been homers that weren’t in other spots.”

Besides the home run, perhaps the process of Lind’s at-bat was just as important. He saw seven pitches, and he didn’t swing at pitches out of the zone. He fought off a tough, 2-2 fastball on the outside corner, and with a full count he adjusted to hit essentially the same pitch hard to the opposite field.

“It was a good at-bat, and I’d seen all of his pitches throughout the course of the day,” he said. “It was a full count, and I wanted to at least get the ball in the air somewhere to score a run. And I put a pretty good swing on it and hit it good enough for it to go over the wall.”

Did he think it was a homer off the bat?

“No,” he said, smiling. “I’ve never got it over that wall before.”

The Mariners had been patiently waiting for Lind to produce at the level they expected when they acquired him in the offseason. Perhaps this is a sign.

“I think the past week has been (better),” he said. “I haven’t got as many hits, but my at-bats have improved a lot. I’m seeing a lot more pitches in at-bats and making the pitcher work.”

Though fans have grumbled at the lack of production — Lind had a .223 batting average entering Thursday — Servais has maintained his belief in Lind and his track record against right-handers.

“He’s going to play,” Servais said before the game. “Predominantly, the league is 70 to 75 percent right-handed pitching, so he’s going to play. So all that anxiousness is coming from within. We’re supporting him, and he continues to work his tail off, and he’s going to be fine.”

Martin’s homer in the ninth provided some much-needed cushion after Joaquin Benoit allowed a run in eighth inning that trimmed the Mariners’ lead to 5-2.

“I hit it a little bit on the end of the bat,” Martin said. “But it’s a small ballpark.”

Mariners starter Nathan Karns needed 89 pitches to grind through five innings, but he allowed just one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts to improve to 4-1.

“He wasn’t feeling great,” Servais said. “I was just hoping to get through five and make a move. We had a rested bullpen today, so it worked for us.”

Road warriors
Top road records in majors:
Team W-L Pct.
Chicago (NL) 14-5 .737
Mariners 15-7 .682
Arizona 12-7 .632
San Francisco 13-8 .619
Chicago (AL) 14-9 .609