BALTIMORE — The last time Brad Bergesen faced the Seattle Mariners, he yielded seven runs in less than three innings and earned himself a trip to the minor leagues.
In the rematch, Bergesen showed precisely how much better he is since the demotion.
Bergesen took a three-hitter into the eighth inning, Luke Scott homered and scored twice, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Mariners 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Bergesen (3-2) allowed one run and five hits in 7 2-3 innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked two in winning his third straight start.
Since his return from Triple-A Norfolk, Bergesen has a 2.33 ERA. His latest performance was especially satisfying because of how awful he was in his previous outing against the Mariners.
“That last one in Seattle before I got sent down, it was really the epitome of all the (bad) starts,” he said. “To come back and get a win against that same team, it feels good.”
So, what the heck happened while he was pitching for Triple-A Norfolk that made him so good?
“My mechanics were off a little bit,” Bergesen said. “Sometime when I was coming back from the (offseason) arm injury I picked up a bad habit somewhere. I’m not sure what it was, but that break helped me out a lot.”
Adam Jones had three hits and third baseman Miguel Tejada drove in two runs for the Orioles, who defeated Seattle for the first time in five tries this season. Baltimore (10-24) became the last team in the majors to reach double figures in wins.
It was the ninth loss in 11 games for the light-hitting Mariners, who rank last in the AL in runs and 13th in batting average.
Seattle had threats in the second and fourth innings wiped out by double plays, a tribute to the manner in which Bergesen’s sinker was working.
“He got in a couple of jams but was able to get the big pitch when he had to,” Seattle’s Chone Figgins said. “He got the double plays and Tejada made some big plays on defense.”
Bergesen got the first two outs in the eighth before Ichiro Suzuki singled, stole second and scored on a single by Figgins. That ended Bergesen’s night, and as he walked off the mound many in the soggy crowd of 11,448 gave him a standing ovation.
After Casey Kotchman singled against Will Ohman, Jose Lopez hit a drive off Koji Uehara that was caught by newcomer Corey Patterson at the base of the left-field wall.
Uehara gave up a walk and a single in the ninth before Alfredo Simon earned his fourth save, giving up a sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter Ken Griffey Jr. in the process.
“The game was about momentum,” Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. “There were two keys: No. 1, was the starting pitching and No. 2 was the two double plays that allowed Bergesen to stay in the game.”
Seattle starter Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-3) gave up three runs and seven hits in three-plus innings, the shortest of his seven starts this season.
“I have been pitching with a chip on my shoulder for as long as I’ve been pitching, like nothing else matters and there’s nothing to lose. I haven’t been doing that this year,” Rowland-Smith said. “I need to get back to that. There have been some bumps in the road. I’m pretty close to being in a survival mode at this point.”
Baltimore went up 2-0 in the third when Patterson and Jones hit successive singles and Tejada doubled both of them home.
Scott homered leading off the fourth. In the sixth, Scott doubled off Ian Snell and scored on a sacrifice fly by Cesar Izturis before Jones hit an RBI single.
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