BALTIMORE — Four home runs weren’t enough to produce a victory for the Seattle Mariners, who lost a long-ball duel with a team that knows all about going deep.
Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 40th homer and Nate McLouth contributed a grand slam to a power display that carried the Baltimore Orioles to an 11-8 victory Friday night.
Michael Sanders hit a two-run drive and Humberto Quintero, Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse added solo shots for the Mariners, who have lost four straight and six of eight. Morales went 4 for 4 and has 13 hits in his past 17 at-bats.
“We did a nice job offensively tonight,” acting manager Robby Thompson said. “We put up some runs, but unfortunately we were playing catch-up all night long.”
Although the Orioles never had a secure lead, they did not trail after a four-run first inning against Aaron Harang (5-10).
“I couldn’t get loose,” Harang said. “My upper back is tight and it’s hard to get extension, hard to feel like you have control out there. I was pulling a lot of balls.”
And, in turn, Davis pulled a pitch in the third inning that put Baltimore ahead 5-3.
The solo homer traveled an estimated 442 feet and gave Davis a major league-high 101 RBIs. He is the fifth Oriole to hit 40 homers in a season, joining Brady Anderson (50), Frank Robinson (49), Jim Gentile (46) and Rafael Palmeiro (43).
“It’s pretty good company to be in,” Davis said. “I’m proud of the way things are going this year. Still got a lot more work to do, but it’s nice to be a big part of a winning team.”
Ryan Flaherty homered and had a career-high three hits, and Adam Jones had three RBIs for the Orioles, who have won 10 of the past 12 games against Seattle.
McLouth connected off Brandon Maurer to make it 11-6 in the sixth, and that was just enough offense to fend off the Mariners. McLouth’s homer followed three straight singles off Maurer, who entered after Harang struggled through five shaky innings.
“If you look back, a lot of those pitches were over the heart of the plate,” Thompson said. “If you do that to this club here, you’re going to run into some problems.”
Jim Johnson worked the ninth to earn his 38th save and secure the victory for Chris Tillman (14-3).
Tillman gave up a season high-tying six runs, as well as eight hits and three walks. But the right-hander improved to 5-0 in five career starts against the team that traded him along with Jones to the Orioles in 2008.
“It’s an offensive night,” Tillman said. “Our guys did their job, and I give credit to their guys, too. They hit some good pitches and they battled.”
On Thursday night, the Mariners allowed six runs in the bottom of the ninth in an 8-7 loss to Boston. Thompson addressed his young team before this game to make sure there would be no carry-over.
“It’s over and done with,” Thompson said. “I want to make sure we forget about it … and move forward.”
They didn’t. After going down in order with two strikeouts in the top of the first inning, Seattle promptly fell into a 4-0 hole.
McLouth singled and Harang issued two straight walks before Jones doubled in two runs, and another scored when left fielder Raul Ibanez mishandled the hit. Matt Wieters capped the uprising with a sacrifice fly.
“That first inning, two walks killed us,” Harang said.
Seattle used three walks, a homer by Saunders and an RBI single by Morales to close to 4-3 in the third.
After Davis homered in the third and Flaherty hit one in the fourth, Quintero connected leading off the fifth.
Jones hit an RBI single in the bottom half for a 7-4 lead, but the Mariners got two runs in the sixth on a run-scoring double by Morse and a sacrifice fly by Saunders.
The Orioles placed 2B Brian Roberts on paternity leave as he awaits the birth of his first son. Baltimore filled out the roster by activating RHP Steve Johnson (strained oblique) from the disabled list. … Seattle 2B Nick Franklin went 0 for 5 and is hitless in his past 17 at-bats. … Roberto Alomar was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame before the game. … Wieters went 0 for 3 and is hitless in his past 25 at-bats, the longest drought of his career.