Friday, July 1, 2016

Walker, Mariners top O's, who set June HR mark

 Taijuan Walker bounced back from a troublesome foot injury to throw 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball as the Mariners topped the Orioles, 5-3, on Thursday at Safeco Field to snap Baltimore's seven-game win streak.
Hyun Soo Kim went deep off Walker leading off the seventh to give the Orioles a Major League-record 56 home runs in June, but that was the only damage done against the 23-year-old Mariners right-hander. Walker, making his first start in 11 days, allowed four hits with five strikeouts and is now 4-6 with a 3.29 ERA.
"That's the guy," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "That's the guy we saw earlier in the year, we just haven't seen him in a while."
Chris Tillman saw his string of seven straight wins over the Mariners snapped as he gave up six hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings, falling to 10-2 with a 3.71 ERA.
"There were a lot of deep counts tonight," Tillman said. "I think I made some good pitches, but the pitches in between weren't very competitive. Just wasn't able to command my offspeed like I have been. That makes their job easier, when you are not commanding the offspeed stuff."
The Orioles finished June with a 19-9 record and a five-game lead over Boston in the American League East at 47-31. Seattle went 10-18 in the month and is 40-39, 10 1/2 games back of Texas in the AL West.
Martin covers deep territory: Mariners center fielder Leonys Martin turned in a pair of defensive gems to help Walker out. In the fourth inning, Manny Machado hit a line drive off the wall in right-center field and rounded first. Martin played the ball off the wall, turned and threw a dart to second. Machado, caught between first and second after hesitating around the bag, headed back. But shortstop Ketel Marte tossed it to first baseman Dae-Ho Lee for the tag to get the final out of the inning. Walker had retired the previous 11 batters in order, with the help of another impressive defensive play in the second, when Martin leaped to grabMark Trumbo's line drive a few steps before the fence.
Smith gets insurance: Seth Smith tacked two more runs onto the Mariners' lead in the fifth with a home run over the right-field fence. His seventh dinger of the season put Seattle up, 3-0. By Statcast™'s measurements, his hit traveled a projected 389 feet with an exit velocity of 111 mph. He went yard on a 2-1 count right after fouling off a bunt.
"It's still an offensive count, so you're still trying to work aggressive," Smith said. "You're not sure what pitch is coming, but you're just working up the middle. And I got a slider kind of middle."
O's rotation woes continue: Tillman, the O's Opening Day starter, had been the guy Baltimore could depend on. But he struggled in a three-run fifth, and has been unable to record an out in the sixth inning in any of his last three starts. Tillman has surrendered 14 earned runs over his last 14 2/3 innings.
"I think it gets magnified because we weren¹t scoring any runs," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We know Chris is capable of better. A lot of deep counts. First inning, he gets a couple outs and the next thing you know, he¹s thrown 27 pitches. That kind of set the tone for the night."
Kim secures record: The left fielder, who struggled earlier this season, gave the Orioles sole possession of the Major League record for June homers. Kim's 0-1 blast marked his third homer of the season and came in the seventh inning. He also drove in a run in a two-run Orioles eighth.
"It would have been really special if we were able to win the game," Kim said through his interpreter about the record homer. "Since we didn't, we can't really be congratulating too much. But I'm really glad and happy that I'm able to participate in games we are winning. So, that comes as very special to me."
"I don¹t know. Is there some record? I don¹t know. You¹d have to ask them. Score enough runs to win a ballgame. We¹ve got three months down, three to go. We¹ve had three winning months. I¹m more proud of the fact that we were something like 13-6 in the division." -- Showalter, on the June home run record.
The Mariners lost a challenge on a forceout at third in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, Lee hit a shallow fly ball to right-center field. It fell in for a base hit. Robinson Cano scored, to put Seattle up, 4-0, and right fielder Trumbo threw the ball to third for a close play on a sliding Nelson Cruz. Third-base umpire Marty Foster called Cruz out, and the call was upheld.
But the Mariners picked up a run in the seventh on a crew-chief review, as the force play at second on a 5-4-3 inning-ending double-play grounder by Lee with runners on first and third was overturned. After a review, the out call at second was reversed, as Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop didn't tag the bag under the new "area play" rule, which allowed Cruz to score from third and give Seattle a 5-1 lead.
"Outstanding job by our replay guy Chris Prieto," Servais said. "Something we talk about often is with the naked eye, you're not really locked in on that. You can't see it. And he's on it."
Orioles: Kevin Gausman will pitch the second game of the four-game set at 10:10 p.m. ET on Friday. The right-hander finally picked up his first win in his 13th start of the season, firing 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Rays. He now sports a 1-5 record with a solid 3.93 ERA.
Mariners: Seattle will send Wade LeBlanc to the mound against Baltimore at 7:10 p.m. PT on Friday. The left-hander made his Mariner debut on June 24, throwing six scoreless innings in a 4-3 win over St. Louis in his first Major League appearance since 2014.

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