The Mariners beat up on the American League East-leading Orioles and improved to 22-16 on the season.
BALTIMORE — In the midst of a three-game losing streak, which constituted a home series sweep where their bullpen imploded in the first two games and the offense managed just two hits — one of them a bunt — in the finale, the Mariners provided the best possible response on Tuesday.
In the opener of their three-game series at Camden Yards and a six-game road trip, the Mariners beat up on the American League East-leading Orioles with a 10-0 drubbing.
“We needed a game like that,” manager Scott Servais said.
Mariners @ Baltimore, 4:05 p.m., ROOT Sports
The Mariners improved to 22-16 on the season and 14-6 in road games. With the 10 runs on Tuesday, they are averaging 5.4 runs per game on the road.
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If there was any added motivation to remove the stain of getting swept at home, the Mariners weren’t trumpeting it.
“That’s in the past,” said Seth Smith, who reached base three times and scored three runs. “We came to play a game today and happened to do really well. We have to play another one tomorrow.”
“Really well” might be an understatement.
Seattle’s trio of all-star hitters put together a monster night from the Nos. 3-4-5 spots in the batting order. Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager combined to go 8 for 11 with two doubles, two homers and 10 RBI.
Their individual lines:
Cano: 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI, three runs scored.
Cruz: 3 for 3 with a walk, a two-run homer, five RBI, two runs scored.
Seager: 2 for 4 with a walk, a three-run homer, three RBI, a run scored.
Yep, that will work on most nights.
“Awesome, awesome night,” Servais said. “When those guys roll, we typically score a lot of runs. It’s nice to jump on (Ubaldo) Jimenez in the first inning. It kind of gets us going on this road trip.”
Smith and leadoff man Norichika Aoki provided RBI opportunities for the heart of the order. It’s part of the construction of the Mariners’ roster.
“It’s Baseball 101,” Smith said. “If you are hitting in front of your 3-4-5, it’s what you want to do. You want to drive the ball and extra-base hits are great, but ultimately you are just trying to get on base for the guys behind you.”
It’s a reason why Servais and general manager Jerry Dipoto covet players that get on base consistently and tried to fill the spots around those three hitters with those types of players. With 12 hits and five walks, Seattle had 17 base runners and went 5 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
It was more than enough run support for Seattle starter Wade Miley, who pitched six shutout innings while allowing just two hits, with three walks and a strikeout.
“Any time you get runs like that, you just try to go out and have quick innings, get the guys back in the dugout and let them keep swinging,” Miley said.
Miley allowed just two runners to reach third base, keeping Orioles hitters off balance. The lefty didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning and held Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo to just one hit in 12 plate appearances.
Miley issued a pair of first inning walks, but he pitched out of trouble.
“I thought I made a couple pitches in the first inning and I didn’t get the call,” he said. “But you move on. I snuck my way out of that inning getting Trumbo to pop up and then just went from there.”
Seattle jumped on Jimenez in the first inning, whose command was as erratic as his delivery. A one-out walk to Smith and a shift-beating double to left field from Cano set up Cruz’s two-run single to right field. The Mariners seemed poised to tack on more runs in the inning after Seager followed with a walk, but a visit from Orioles acting pitching coach Scott McGregor calmed Jimenez down. He struck out the next two batters to finish the inning and retired nine of the next 10 he faced.
Seattle ended Jimenez’s outing in the fifth inning. Aoki singled with one out and Smith drew a walk to set up the middle of the order. Cano singled through the right side to score Aoki. Cruz singled to left to score Smith to make it 4-0.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter had seen enough of Jimenez, calling on lefty reliever Brian Matusz to stop the bleeding. It only worsened. Matusz left an 0-2 fastball over the middle of the plate that Seager hammered just over the wall in right-center for a three-run homer to make it 7-0. It was Seager’s eighth homer of the season and 38th of his career against a left-handed pitcher.
“I got behind 0-2 and I got a guy on third. The whole goal was not chase another slider and get a ball to the outfield,” Seager said. “Fortunately, it got out for me.”
Seager is now hitting .397 with a 1.188 OPS, seven doubles, two triples, four homers and 14 RBI in his past 16 games.
Seattle hit the double-digit mark an inning later. Smith led off with a single and scored on Cano’s double to center.
For his career, Cano is hitting .367 with a 1.000 OPS with 29 doubles, 15 homers and 46 RBI in 83 games at Camden Yards.
“Love it,” he said. “I’m just going with the pitch and not trying to do too much, not thinking about homers or anything like that.”
Cruz followed with his eighth homer of the season — a two-run blast into the left-field seats. As an opposing player in Baltimore, Cruz has reached base in 43 of 46 games with hits in 41 of them.
Relievers Vidal Nuno and Steve Johnson came on to keep the shutout intact, combining to work the final three innings.
|Easy as 3-4-5|
|The middle of the order carried the M’s offense Tuesday:|
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