The Mariners were pretty much in shambles when the homestand began, but things look much brighter now after five wins in seven games. Particularly encouraging has been the offensive revival — a .299 average over the last nine games.
MARINERS SIXTH: M’s counter the two Baltimore runs with three of their own. The big hit was a two-run double by Morales that one-hopped the CF wall. He has three hits and three RBIs, Saunders has three hits and three runs scored. The Mariners have reached double figure hits for sixth time in seven games. Who are these guys? 8-2 Mariners
ORIOLES SIXTH: Harang got two quick outs before running into trouble — three straight hits (Machado double, Markakis RBI single, Jones RBI double) for two runs, before striking out Chris Davis to end the inning. I’d be surprised if Harang goes out for the seventh. 5-2 Mariners
MARINERS FOURTH: For the second night in a row, Michael Morse hits one out to the opposite field –this time with Michael Saunders aboard (bunt single). Morse has nine homers this year, six solo. 5-0 Mariners.
ORIOLES FOURTH: This is an Aaron Harang we haven’t seen yet, and for the Mariners, that’s a very good thing. He has faced one over the minimum through four, giving up just a two-out double to Matt Wieters in the second. Harang has struck out three and thrown just 51 pitches. 3-0 Mariners
MARINERS SECOND: Two more runs after Jesus Montero starts a rally with the first triple of his major-league career — a drive that clanked off the glove of CF Adam Jones just before he crashed into the wall. Michael Saunders singled home Montero, stole second, and scored on Morales’s second hit of the night. 3-0 Mariners.
MARINERS FIRST: The M’s rallied for a run with two outs on a Morales single (a sinking liner that squirted out of Adam Jones’s glove), a walk to Morse, and a double by Bay that brought in Morales. Smoak walked to load the bases, but Chen avoided a big inning by striking out Ackley on a called third strike. 1-0 Mariners
ORIOLES FIRST: An encouraging start for Harang, who breezed through a 10-pitch inning, with a strikeout of Manny Machado.
This may well be a make-or-break start for Aaron Harang to stay in the rotation — and on the team. In his first three starts as a Mariner, Harang is 0-3 with an 11.37 ERA.
The Mariners’ offense is heading in the right direction. Over their last eight games, they are hitting .295 (89-for-302) with 22 extra-base hits. Their team average has risen from .218 to .242. However, they are hitting just .203 during this stretch with runners in scoring position, and 1-for-11 with the bases loaded.
Some bad omens: They are 0-4 on Wednesdays this year, and 0-3 in rubber games of a series.