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.”
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 52/3 innings. It was his longest outing since June 28 against Cleveland.
“I didn’t have the luck to win,” Elias said through an interpreter.
Baltimore has won nine of its past 11 games and remained atop the A..L 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 71/3 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.”
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. He pitched eight scoreless innings in Seattle on July 24.
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. “Luckily we got a couple big hits.”
Seattle (56-53) fell to 5-37 when trailing after seven innings.