The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Chen wins 5th straight as O's top Mariners 2-1
BALTIMORE - Even though Austin Jackson and Chris Denorfia did not get any hits in their debut for the Mariners, manager Lloyd McClendon already likes the new dynamic they bring to the lineup.
The duo were acquired prior to the non-waiver trade deadline and started Friday against Baltimore with Jackson batting leadoff and playing centerfield and Denorfia batting sixth and playing right. On this night, however, none of the Mariners had an answer for Baltimore lefty Wei-Yin Chen.
Chen won his fifth consecutive start and had a season-high eight strikeouts to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 2-1 victory over the Mariners.
"I thought both of those guys made our lineup look real nice," McClendon said. "It's a very competitive lineup. It's a lineup I'm proud to write up every day. It was pretty good."
Robinson Cano had two hits for the Mariners and is 115 for 317 (.363) lifetime at Camden Yards.
"He's tough," Cano said about Chen. "He threw everything for a strike. He's not a guy that is just going to give you anything."
Mariners left-hander Roenis Elias (8-9) allowed two runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over 5 2-3 innings. It was his longest outing since June 28 against Cleveland.
"I didn't have the luck to win," Elias said through an interpreter. "That's just the way the ball bounces. It's just baseball."
Baltimore has won nine of its past 11 games and remained atop the AL League East. An RBI single by Manny Machado in the third, snapped the Orioles' scoreless streak at 19 innings.
Chen (12-3) allowed one run and five hits with one walk over 7 1-3 innings. Andrew Miller, acquired from Boston on Thursday, pitched a scoreless eighth in his debut for the Orioles (61-47). Left-hander Zach Britton picked up his 22nd save.
The Orioles improved to 18-2 when Chen goes seven or more innings.
"If you get seven innings out of your starter, you're going to win your share of games," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Shortens up a lot of things in the bullpen and really allows you to put people in situations that they prosper in. But regardless of the analysis of the game, it starts and most of it is with Wei-Yin. He's really solid for us here lately in a time of need, obviously standings-wise."
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead on Machado's single in the third. The Mariners answered the next inning on a double by Kendrys Morales that scored Cano when Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph could not hold onto a relay throw by J.J. Hardy. That snapped a streak of 11 consecutive scoreless innings by Chen against Seattle.
In the sixth, Machado led off with a double and Hardy drove him in with a two-out single for a 2-1 lead.
"Both pitchers really good, both sides," Hardy said. "I think Chen threw the ball great. Elias threw the ball really well, and then our bullpen came in and shut them down and luckily we got a couple big hits."
Seattle fell to 5-37 when trailing after seven innings.
"If we play as hard and with as much energy as we played with tonight, and we get that type of pitching performance we're gonna win our share of games," McClendon said.
Orioles: Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will make a rehab start for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday. He is then expected to rejoin the Orioles when they travel to Toronto for a three-game series beginning Tuesday.
Mariners: Left-hander James Paxton (2-0, 2.25 ERA) will make his first start after initially going on the disabled list on April 9 with a left lat strain and then going on the 60-day DL with a left shoulder injury.
Orioles: Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (5-5, 3.77 ERA) will be facing the Mariners for the second time in his career. The previous start was less than a week ago when he did not get a decision in the Orioles' 3-2 victory.
The game between the Mariners and the Orioles featured two players celebrating their birthdays Friday. Seattle left-hander Roenis Elias turned 26, while the Orioles' centre fielder Adam Jones became 29. Jones went hitless in three at-bats against Elias.
CRUZ BREAKS SLUMP
Baltimore's Nelson Cruz had a double in the fourth, snapping an 0 for 21 skid and the longest of his eight-year career.
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