LeBlanc pitches Mariners to victory over Orioles

Send a link to a friend  Share

[July 02, 2016]  SEATTLE -- The Baltimore Orioles rolled into Safeco Field on a seven-game winning streak, having scored 43 runs in their past four wins.

Then they hit a road block in the first two games of the series with the Seattle Mariners.

Journeyman Wade LeBlanc turned in his second solid performance in as many starts, and the Mariners rode home runs from Seth Smith, Kyle Seager and Dae-Ho Lee to a 5-2 victory over the Orioles on Friday night.

"It's baseball," said Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, whose 10-game hitting streak ended with an 0-for-4 performance on a night when the Orioles managed just five hits. "You're not going to hit every night, plain and simple. You keep grinding it and keeping doing what you do, and you get through it."

LeBlanc, who threw six shutout innings in his Mariners debut last week, allowed two runs and three hits over six innings Friday. LeBlanc (1-0) earned his first win since Sept. 23, 2014, while with the Los Angeles Angels. He spent the 2015 season in Japan.

"He's doing a really nice job," Seattle manager Scott Servais said of a pitcher who was in Toronto's minor league system before the starter-desperate Mariners acquired him for a player to be named on June 21. "That's not an easy lineup to navigate through with all the power they have. But (LeBlanc) just kind of took the sting out of them."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter, whose team has managed just 13 hits and five runs over the first two games of the series, wasn't too concerned about the offensive funk.

"Whoever pitches the best is going to be the last team standing," he said. "It's not as complicated as people make it."

Lee went 3-for-4 with a single, a double and a two-run homer that opened up a 5-2 lead in the eighth. Lee took Baltimore reliever Chaz Roe deep for a one-out homer that gave the Mariners some insurance runs after Seager's two-run blast in the sixth put Seattle ahead 3-2.

Smith also had three hits, including a first-inning homer. He has homered in both games of the series.

Mariners relievers Mike Montgomery, Edwin Diaz and closer Steve Cishek each pitched a scoreless inning while combining to allow two hits. Cishek earned his 20th save of the season and second in as many nights.

Baltimore's Kevin Gausman (1-6) allowed three runs and eight hits over six innings as the Orioles lost back-to-back games for the first time since June 20-21. The last time Baltimore (47-32) dropped consecutive games to the same team was on June 11-12, when the Toronto Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Orioles.

Baltimore's lead atop the American League East dwindled to four games after the loss and a win by the Boston Red Sox over the Los Angeles Angels.

"You're not going to go up there every day and get hits every at-bat," Machado said. "You just try to go up and do something productive to help the team win every day."

Solo home runs by Smith and the Orioles' Chris Davis left the score tied 1-1 after two innings.

[to top of second column]

Mariners starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc (35) throws a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Smith hit a one-out homer, his second in as many days, in the first to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Davis tied the score with a leadoff shot in the top of the second inning. The home run ended LeBlanc's scoreless-inning streak at 24 2/3 innings, which was the longest active streak in baseball.

The last time LeBlanc had allowed a run in a major league game before the Davis home run was Sept. 2, 2014. He closed out that season with 17 2/3 scoreless innings as a starter/reliever.

LeBlanc gave up another run in the third inning, when Jonathan Schoop's two-out RBI single gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead.

Seager put the Seattle (41-39) back on top when he hit an 0-2 pitch from Gausman into the right field seats.

"Maybe he was kind of sitting on it," Gausman said. "I throw a lot of fastballs up (in the strike zone) to those guys -- that's how I like to attack hitters -- and maybe there were sitting on it."

Servais wasn't surprised to see Seager deliver in the clutch.

"He gets a lot of big hits," the manager said. "He's an underrated player, and that's OK. I think he likes it that way."

NOTES: Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (strained calf) threw a 43-pitch bullpen session Friday afternoon and pronounced afterward that he will be "100 percent" and ready to return to the rotation shortly after the All-Star break. Hernandez has been out since May 28 but is close to being ready for a rehab start or two. ... The Orioles announced that RHP Ubaldo Jimenez will start Sunday. Jimenez has struggled to the tune of a 6.63 ERA this season and there was speculation that he may lose his spot in the rotation, but he will get at least one more start. ... Baltimore went 19-9 in June, ranking behind only Cleveland (22-6) and Texas (20-8) in the American League last month. Closer Zach Britton converted all nine save opportunities during the month without allowing an earned run. ... The broken hand that sidelined Seattle C Steve Clevenger this week left the Mariners with nine players on the disabled list. Clevenger, who is likely to require season-ending surgery, is one of two catchers on the DL, along with Jesus Sucre. The other seven injured players are pitchers.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Back to top