Tonight was fun if you like to see home runs by both teams. But not if you only want to see the Mariners hit them and — of course — win the game. The Mariners lose 11-8 and have now dropped four in a row and six of seven to fall nine games under .500.
Seattle hit four homers in this game, but the Orioles hit three and one of them was a grands slam by Nate McLouth, which really messes the Seattle math up. This Mariners team just scored 15 runs in two games and lost both. The pitching and defense has been brutal.
6:35 p.m.: That Francisco Rodriguez trade not looking so hot for the Orioles right now as he came on and Kendrys Morales and then Michael Morse both took him deep in the eighth to cut Baltimore’s lead to 11-8. First home run for Morse since May 28. For Morales, that’s his fourth hit tonight and his eighth in two games and 13th in four games this trip counting tonight.
6:25 p.m.: Brandon Maurer came on to work the sixth, gave up three straight singles to load the bases and then yielded a grand slam to dead center by Nate McLouth that blows the game open at 11-6. The pitching and defense tonight has been awful. If Brad Miller “ole’s” one more four-hop grounder, I’m going to scream. That first hit by the Orioles should not have gotten through the infield. The Mariners might have to work on his positioning because he’s not getting in-place quickly enough.
6:20 p.m.: The Mariners scored twice more in the sixth to cut their deficit to 7-6. Michael Saunders just drove in a sixth run with a sacrifice fly to right off Troy Patton, who came on following a Justin Smoak single that put runners at the corners.
Prior to that, Michael Morse collected his first RBI since June 10, doubling home Kendrys Morales to cut the O’s lead to 7-5. Morales had reached on his third single of the night and his 12th hit of this three-plus games road trip so far. As bad as Aaron Harang looked, I was really not that impressed by Orioles starter Chris Tillman tonight. He had a big early lead and has slowly frittered it away.
5:54 p.m.: Adam Jones collected his third RBI of the night with a single through the left side of the infield past a diving Brad Miller. A lot of grounders have been getting by the young infield on this trip and it’s proven costly. Their range needs work. So, it’s now a 7-4 game, the Orioles leading. Manny Machado led things off with an infield single that Miller bobbled as he prepared to attempt a last-ditch throw. Machado then used his speed to make it to second on a fielder’s choice grounder that Miller had hoped to turn two on before settling for one out at first base.
5:35 p.m.: We’ve seen some long balls tonight and both teams just traded two more with Humberto Quintero going deep to center in the top of the fifth to erase the solo blast hit by Ryan Flaherty in the bottom of the fourth. So, that makes it a 6-4 game, the Mariners still down. It was Quintero’s first homer with the Mariners and his third on the season.
The umpires had to review Flaherty’s blast, which hit the top of the wal and bounced back on to the field of play. But the ball clearly struck the portion of the wall deemed to be a home run territory, so it was indeed awarded to the batter.
5:21 p.m.: Chris Davis obliterated an Aaron Harang pitch to deepest right-center, making it 5-3 for the Orioles after three innings of play. It was the 40th homer of the season already for Davis. Barry Bonds might be in trouble…well, more trouble than he’s already been in.
5:11 p.m.: Justin Smoak drew a leadoff walk and Michael Saunders pounded a Chris Tillman pitch over the left field wall to halve Baltimore’s lead in the top of the third. Tillman later walked two more batters in the inning and Kendrys Morales brought one of them around to score with a single to left field. That makes it a 4-3 game, the Mariners trailing but now right back in it.
Morales now has 11 hits in three games plus two at-bats on this road trip.
4:28 p.m.: The ninth inning from Boston never really ended for the Mariners, it would appear, because the Orioles scored three runs without Seattle recording a single out in this game. Baltimore then tacked on another with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0 for Baltimore after an inning of play.
For the record, between last night and tonight, the opposition had scored nine runs with the Mariners getting only one batter out between the ninth in Boston and the first here tonight. And 10 runs by the time the Mariners got their second out.
Aaron Harang gave up a leadoff single, two walks and then a double to the left field corner by Adam Jones that cleared the bases. Jones’ former Seattle outfield mate, Raul Ibanez, helped the third run score by booting the ball around.
4:05 p.m.: Don’t look now, but that’s three losses in a row for the Mariners and five of the last six. Good baseball hasn’t translated into winning baseball of late as the combination of a lack of hitting and last night’s bullpen meltdown have conspired to send Seattle back to eight games under .500.
Tonight, it’s Aaron Harang trying to halt the losing skid. Some guy named Chris Tillman is opposing him. We don’t like to talk about Tillman too much in Seattle — especially now that he’s 13-3 with a 3.62 ERA. Yeah, that Erik Bedard trade didn’t work out too well.