Though the Baltimore Orioles are in last place in the American League East, their recent play suggests they are getting better as they return home to face the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday.
The Orioles, who finished last in the division in four of the past five seasons, just concluded a stretch in which they went 6-5 against the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox — all playoff teams last year.
Baltimore pounded the host Red Sox 10-0 on Monday, its third victory in the five-game series. Before arriving in Boston, the Orioles took two of three against the visiting Rays and then dropped two of three in New York.
On Monday, Ryan Mountcastle went 4-for-5 with a home run, a double and four runs, Trey Mancini finished 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs and an RBI and Tyler Wells allowed just two hits over six scoreless innings. Ramon Urias homered and drove in three runs, and Anthony Santander homered and knocked in four runs.
“This was one of our better — if not our best — offensive games of the year and maybe we could have scored more runs,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We hit numerous balls hard and took really good at-bats throughout the order. I am really happy with our overall performance tonight.”
Meanwhile, Seattle, which was expected to contend this year after posting its best record since 2003 last year, sits in fourth place in the American League West. The Mariners have won just nine of their past 31 as they enter a nine-game road trip.
Hyde said he would wait until Tuesday morning to name a starting pitcher for the series opener considering Baltimore has played 24 games in the past 23 days, going 11-13.
Seattle go with rookie right-hander George Kirby (0-1, 4.50 ERA), who is coming off allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings during a no-decision against the Oakland A’s on May 24. He had nine strikeouts and no walks.
The Mariners arrive in Baltimore after going 3-3 during a homestand against the A’s and Houston Astros. Prior to that, they went 3-7 on a lengthy road trip that saw them get swept in a four-game series by the Red Sox.
“Really happy with the way we bounced back after a rough start to this homestand, playing the way we did,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “If we continue to do that, we’ll be fine going forward and certainly as we head out to this road trip.”
The Mariners are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Astros in the finale of their three-game series on Sunday.
Seattle, which had outscored Houston 12-1 in the first two games, had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth, but Luis Torrens grounded into a game-ending double play.
“It’s one of those games where (it’s) going to come down to: Can you create some chaos and traffic out there and then get a big hit?” Servais said. “We certainly created a lot of chaos, just didn’t finish it off by getting the big hit.
“Guys executed and just didn’t finish it off.”
–Field Level Media