O's hold off Mariners after Wieters sparks offense
By Brittany Ghiroli and Ben Raby
BALTIMORE -- Matt Wieters homered as part of his first three-hit game of the season in the Orioles' series-evening 5-2 win over the Mariners on Wednesday night.
Former Mariner Mark Trumbo went yard in the second inning off Seattle starter Taijuan Walker, and he was followed by Wieters, giving Baltimore its seventh back-to-back homers already this season. Trumbo had two hits on the night, while Wieters drove in a pair of runs and scored twice to help push Baltimore on top.
"We kind of got embarrassed last night, and we were able to come back and right the ship tonight," said Wieters, referring to the O's 10-0 series-opening loss. "We'll come out tomorrow and hopefully win the series."
Walker allowed four runs (three earned) over five innings, and despite being charged with an unearned run, had several great defensive plays made behind him.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman went 6 1/3 innings and held Seattle to two runs on four hits and a trio of walks. He struck out six.
"He just commands his fastball -- that's his main pitch," said Mariners designated hitter and former Oriole Nelson Cruz. "He was throwing curveballs to righties and the sliders and changeups to lefties, so he was on."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Tillman time: In what is becoming a familiar sight this season, the Orioles' Opening Day starter fired 6 1/3 solid innings in his 109-pitch outing. Tillman has posted six consecutive quality starts, and the righty is coming into his own this season, posting a 2.61 ERA through nine games.
"I felt good physically," Tillman said. "The pitches kind of came along as the game went on. I felt good with all my pitches, I was fortunate to execute my pitches when I needed to. I'm happy with it."
Martin delivers with glove and bat: Seattle's Leonys Martin robbed Adam Jones of extra bases in the first inning with a leaping catch at the center-field wall. With one out and O's leadoff man Joey Rickard on first base, Martin's catch likely saved an early run. Two innings later, Martin put the Mariners on the board with a homer to right field to lead off the third. It was Martin's sixth homer of the season and his first in 12 games.
Fifth inning gets away from Walker: Since beginning the season with four straight quality starts, Walker hasn't thrown six innings in any of his last four outings. Walker's night was done on Wednesday after a rough fifth inning, which began with a leadoff walk to Hyun Soo Kim. One batter later, Walker was charged with an error when he overthrew shortstop Ketel Marte covering second base on a Rickard bunt. A walk to Chris Davis two batters later loaded the bases for Trumbo with two out, when Walker threw a wild pitch that allowed Kim to score from third.
"I didn't have it today," Walker said. "The slider felt good, but I was really throwing too much offspeed, not going to my strength -- my fastball -- and not really trusting it." More >
Britton's five-out save: The Orioles' lefty was called in for his first five-out save of the season in the eighth inning with the bases loaded. Britton responded, getting Dae-Ho Lee to strike out and Chris Iannetta to ground out. The closer could see some more late-inning action against lefties if Brian Matusz -- who surrendered four runs on Tuesday -- can't find his rhythm. Britton got righty Brad Brach out of a jam on Wednesday and picked up his 84th career save.
"I like it to kind of be an option, definitely," Britton said. "Sometimes I like going back out there, sitting down [in the dugout]. I don't get to do that very often. Good to sit down and get back out there, too. And be able to pick up Brad was the most important thing, and then, obviously, getting the win. ... I knew with the way their lineup kind of shakes out, with the lefties, that that was a possibility. I did it against them last year, so I was just prepared to do it." More >
"It's very easy to forget this guy has 20-plus home runs, hitting .270, .280, and is very capable of driving in big runs and being a solid defensive catcher. That's why he's been to All-Star Games and why his services are coveted. Because he brings a lot to the table. You get that part of it going, I think that was a little reminder of what he's capable of." -- O's manager Buck Showalter, on Wieters
"There wasn't quite the same crispness to his stuff that we saw last time out. Obviously the error -- the comebacker error -- a couple of home runs he gave up, he just wasn't on top of his game tonight. He battled, he kept us there, but we've certainly seen better stuff from him." -- Mariners manager Scott Servais, on Walker
Orioles pitcher Yovani Gallardo (right shoulder tendinitis) will throw off a mound on Sunday, with the target goal for him to throw a simulated game with the team on May 27.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners: Right-hander Nathan Karns (3-1, 3.51 ERA) starts the series finale Thursday at 9:35 a.m. PT. Karns has four straight quality starts, with a 2-0 record over that stretch. He did not factor in the decision in his last outing -- a 7-6 loss to the Angels on May 13.
Orioles: Rookie Tyler Wilson will pitch the series finale against the Mariners on Thursday at 12:35 p.m. ET, making his fifth start of the season. Wilson, who opened the year in relief, has posted back-to-back quality starts.