Mariners Bats Come Alive, Beat Orioles 6-3

A Mariners team desperate for a clutch hit got a big one from Casper Wells on Monday night, as the center fielder ripped a three-run double in the seventh inning to lift Seattle to a 6-3 win over the Orioles.

The Mariners had scored just nine runs in the first seven games of the current homestand and were struggling again in the series opener against Baltimore, trailing, 3-1, with two outs in the seventh until Wells cleared the bases with his two-bagger off Orioles starter Jason Hammel.

Miguel Olivo and Dustin Ackley added back-to-back home runs in the eighth as Seattle improved to 35-47 with its highest-scoring output at Safeco Field since a 7-4 win over the Giants on June 16.

An Ackley walk and a single by Munenori Kawasaki had runners on first and third with one out in the seventh, but Hammel dug in and got Brendan Ryan on a pop up that catcher Matt Wieters grabbed just before falling into the Mariners' dugout for the second out.

Ichiro Suzuki worked Hammel for a walk to load the bases before Wells delivered his double to the right-center gap.

Wells' hit made a winner out of reliever Steve Delabar, who threw two scoreless innings with three strikeouts in his first appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday. Shawn Kelley pitched a perfect eighth before Tom Wilhelmsen came on for his seventh save as the Mariners' bullpen delivered again.

Hisashi Iwakuma gave the Mariners five solid innings in his first Major League start, but the former Japanese standout wound up with a no-decision.

Iwakuma, 31, made just one mistake, allowing a three-run blast to Orioles right fielder Chris Davis in the fourth inning.

Those were the only runs allowed by Iwakuma, who started in place of Kevin Millwood after the veteran had his next outing pushed back to Friday due to a sore groin muscle. Iwakuma had been pitching out of the bullpen to this point, with a 4.75 ERA in 14 appearances.

He gave up three hits and walked three in his first start, with four strikeouts in a 71-pitch outing. Iwakuma had a 107-69 record as a starter in Japan and won the Pacific League MVP award in 2008 after a 21-4 season with a 1.87 ERA, but he'd never thrown more than 65 pitches with the Mariners as a long reliever.

Iwakuma breezed through three scoreless frames before giving up the three-run bolt to Davis. Jim Thome led off that rally with a two-out single, his first hit with the Orioles. Iwakuma then walked Matt Wieters before Davis drove a 1-0 fastball 408 feet into the right-field seats for his 14th home run of the season.

The bottom of the Mariners' order came through in the third inning as Chone Figgins dumped a single into shallow left field, moved to second on a sacrifice by Kawasaki and scored on a single to center by Ryan.


{courtesy: Greg Johns,}