A day after romping 10-0, the Mariners fell victims to a pair of ex-employees, Chris Tillman and Mark Trumbo. Tillman checked Seattle on four hits over 6.1 innings and Trumbo homered and scored twice as the Baltimore Orioles defeated Seattle 5-2 at Camden Yards. The only bright spot for Seattle Wednesday was that Texas lost to Oakland 8-1, leaving the Mariners (22-17) with a one-game lead in the AL West (box).
A former farm hand traded to Baltimore in 2008 in a package for Erik Bedard, Tillman struck out six and walked three. He threw only one bad pitch, which Leonys Martin converted into a home run in the third inning. Since his trade, Tillman is 7-0 in nine starts against Seattle.
Trumbo, traded by the Mariners last winter in large part because they did not want to pay him $9 million this season, homered in the first, singled in the fourth and scored on a Matt Wieters double.
The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Dae-Ho Lee struck out swinging and catcher Chris Iannetta bounced to second to end Seattle’s only significant threat.
With the Mariners trailing 3-2 in the fifth, Seattle starter Taijuan Walker issued two walks, committed a throwing error to first base and tossed a wild pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Hyun Soo Kim with Baltimore’s fourth run. That ended Walker’s outing and greased his third consecutive defeat.
The Mariners managed six hits, Robinson Cano’s double in the eighth the only one for extra bases besides Martin’s homer. Cano has hit safely in 12 consecutive games at Camden Yards, in his past nine road contests, and in 18 of 21 road games . . . Nelson Cruz singled in the fourth and has reached base in 44 of 47 career games against the Orioles . . . Iannetta produced Seattle’s only multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, but bounced out with the sacks full in the eighth . . . Seattle went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine stranded.
Walker (2-3, 2.95) lasted five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits with three strikeouts, two walks and two home runs. Walker, who threw 91 pitches, is without a win since April 25 vs. Houston . . . Mike Montgomery worked two innings of scoreless relief.
“(The Orioles) had some good pitching tonight. We needed to come up with a big hit but didn’t get it. Taijuan (Walker) just wasn’t on top of his game. We’ve certainly seen better stuff from him. His curveball wasn’t there at all, one of which Trumbo took care of with a home run.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
The Mariners (8-3-1) have a chance to win their ninth series of the season Thursday . . . The Mariners fell to 14-7 on the road (still best in the AL) and to 6-2 vs. the AL East . . . The Mariners Wednesday agreed to accept a player to be named later, or cash, from the San Diego Padres in exchange for declining the return of OF Jabari Blash. Blash, 26, was selected by the Oakland A’s off the Mariners AAA Tacoma roster with the sixth selection in the Rule 5 draft in December. Oakland traded Blash to San Diego that same day. San Diego designated Blash for assignment May 13 after hitting .120.
The series concludes Thursday with a 9:35 a.m. PT first pitch. RHP Nathan Karns (3-1, 3.51) will throw for Seattle opposite RHP Dan Straily (2-1, 3.05). Following the series, the Mariners travel to Cincinnati for a three-game weekend set starting Friday.