BALTIMORE -- Jimmy Paredes had a career-high four RBIs as the Orioles outpowered the Mariners with a series-opening 9-4 win on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.
Paredes, who had a game-tying two-run single in the fourth off Mariners starter Taijuan Walker, clobbered reliever Danny Farquhar's 3-1 fastball in the sixth for a two-run homer to raise his average to .346 and give the O's a 7-4 lead. It was his sixth homer in 25 games.
Nelson Cruz, making his return to Baltimore, hit a three-run homer off O's starter Miguel Gonzalez in the third inning to raise his Major League-leading total to 16 and give the Mariners a 4-1 lead, but Walker couldn't hold it, getting chased after allowing seven hits and four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.
"A lot of fans root for something big from [Cruz], and we changed the game," Paredes said of bouncing back from the early deficit. "We changed the mind of the fans. We had a good game. In that situation, we were coming back, and now we never give up."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Smith owns the first: Mariners left fielder Seth Smith opened the game with a leadoff home run, sending a 1-2 fastball from Miguel Gonzalez to deep right field for his fourth home run of the season. Smith then robbed Adam Jones of a potential two-run homer in the bottom of the first with a leaping catch at the left-field wall. More >
The Great Paredes: Paredes continued his career season, extending his career-high on-base streak to 20 games his two-run blast. He is now second on the team with 22 RBIs, behind only Adam Jones.
"Jimmy's such a sincere guy," manager Buck Showalter said. "Those guys give themselves such a chance to be successful because he never gives in in the effort department. I was watching him during the last out. He's in every pitch. I know down deep he'd like to be playing a position right now, but he fits well for us what he's doing [as the DH]. I don't want to mess with him too much. That was a big hit. He had seven or eight changeups thrown there. Jimmy finally got one up and over, it was actually a ball, and he poked it into left field." More >
Cruising in Baltimore return: Cruz received a warm ovation in his Baltimore return from the 19,494 fans at Camden Yards. The former Oriole then singled up the middle in his first at-bat before connecting on a three-run home run to left center field to give Seattle a 4-1 lead in the third inning. It was Cruz's Major League-leading 16th homer of the season. More >
Gonzalez rebounds: The righty allowed a pair of home runs -- including Cruz's shot -- in the first three innings, but held firm after that. Gonzalez gave the O's their fifth consecutive start of at least seven innings and struck out eight in the solid performance.
"I was just telling myself to stay aggressive after we scored some runs," Gonzalez said of his adjustment after the third. "I just got really pumped up and started getting after it, not worrying about where the ball was going. The ball was moving a lot today. The four-seam was moving and cutting, something that almost never happens, but overall we did a good job." More >
"He's so upbeat all the time and I'm always pulling for an underdog, too. For a guy to get claimed and DFA'ed and claimed again and then found a home. We're glad he's on our side because he's been real stable in that two-hole for us." -- Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph, on Paredes
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners: In search of his first win of the season, Roenis Elias will face the Orioles on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. The left-hander is winless in four starts this season, despite not allowing more than three earned runs in any outing. Elias has received an average of just over two runs per start.
Orioles: Baltimore counters with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, who was the hard-luck loser last Friday in a 3-1 defeat to the Angels. Chen allowed two runs and five hits and had seven strikeouts in seven innings, but dropped to 1-2 with the loss.