SEATTLE -- Wei-Yin Chen allowed one run over 7 1/3 innings, Chris Davis smacked his 30th home run and Zach Britton got the final five outs and held off a ninth-inning rally as the Orioles beat the Mariners, 3-2, on Monday night in the first game of a three-game series at Safeco Field.
Adam Jones joined Davis in leading Baltimore's attack, going 2-for-4 with his 18th homer, while Franklin Gutierrez's solo homer in the second inning was all Seattle managed until rallying for a run in the ninth. Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 20 games, but he did no further damage, ending his extra-base hitting streak at nine games.
In just his second start with the Mariners this season, Vidal Nuno allowed two runs in five innings, striking out five. Chen, meanwhile, posted his longest start since July 12, retiring 13 straight Seattle hitters between the fourth and eighth innings before a walk to Mark Trumbo ended his night.
"He's had our number this year. He's thrown the ball extremely well, and tonight I thought he was locating extremely well," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon of Chen. "He pitched in effectively, mixed in a few breaking balls, short-arming that fastball. It really got on us quite a bit. He did a nice job."
Chen, who struggled in his two previous outings, hit 94 mph on several fastballs while throwing a season-high 111 pitches.
"He got stronger as the game went on," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "The late life was there, and the depth to his breaking ball. That's about as much depth as he's had on his breaking ball. ... You give good catchers those things to work with and they can make it work."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Nail-biting ninth: The Mariners didn't go quietly against Britton. After Robinson Cano grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to empty the bases in the ninth, Gutierrez doubled to center, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball on a dropped third strike to Austin Jackson, bringing the Mariners within a run. Britton was able to recover, however, striking out Jesus Montero to end the game.
Davis delivers: Davis' bounceback season continued with an RBI single off Nuno in the fourth inning that gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead and a line drive homer to right-center off Mayckol Guaipe in the sixth. Davis' 82 RBIs are second in the Majors behind Jays slugger Josh Donaldson's 83.
"His contact-to-damage ratio has been real good," Showalter said of Davis. "And his exit velocity, all those things." More >
Gutierrez goes deep: After missing three games with the flu, Gutierrez appeared to be just fine in his first at-bat back in the lineup, launching his fifth home run on a 2-2 fastball from Chen to tie the game, 1-1, in the second. The home run gave Gutierrez an RBI in three straight games for the first time since Sept. 25-27, 2012.
Homecoming of sorts: Jones, who came up with the Mariners after being selected in the first round of the 2003 Draft, jumped on a Nuno pitch in the first inning and blasted his 18th home run of the season over the wall in center field. It gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Jones would later add a double.
"[Nuno] just left one pitch up. Actually, two pitches to Adam Jones," said McClendon. "He did a pretty nice job, and got up to almost 100 pitches." More >
"It's one of the few games where they beat us. We played an extremely good game, they played a good game and they beat us. Those games happen in the game of baseball. We battled and we just came up a little short tonight." -- McClendon
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Nuno is winless in 17 consecutive starts. He last won a start on June 27, 2014.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Chris Tillman (8-7, 4.35 ERA) gets the ball Tuesday in the second game of the series against the team that drafted him. The right-hander was selected with the Mariners' second-round pick in 2006 and was traded in the Jones-Erik Bedard deal in 2007. Tillman has made his former club pay for that deal, going 6-0 with a 2.09 ERA against Seattle.
Mariners: Taijuan Walker (8-7, 4.67) will take the mound for the Mariners. The righty allowed four runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings on May 19 in his only career start against the Orioles, a 9-4 Seattle loss. He is 1-0 with 16 strikeouts and a 2.20 ERA over his last two starts.