BALTIMORE — Roenis Elias didn’t do anything much differently in his fifth start of the season for the Seattle Mariners.
As usual, the left-hander displayed solid control, stifled the opposing offense and kept his team in the game.
This time, however, he got a victory to show for it.
Elias took a four-hitter into the eighth inning, Justin Ruggiano homered and the Mariners beat Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 Wednesday night.
Elias (1-1) allowed one run, six hits and no walks in 7 2-3 innings. He did not permit a runner past first base until the seventh inning and at one point retired 10 in a row.
“Everything went well. I felt real good,” Elias said through an interpreter. “I could tell from the bullpen that it was going to be a good outing because I felt real good.”
Although Elias didn’t give up more than three runs in any of his previous four starts this season, the Mariners scored only six runs while he was in the game.
Not this time. With Ruggiano leading the way, Seattle backed Elias in a big way.
“He pitched well enough to win his first four starts,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “It was unfortunate that we didn’t swing the bats well for him. We swung the bats pretty well for him tonight.”
Seattle built a 3-0 lead by the fourth inning, and Elias — now in his second year in the majors — did the rest.
“Any time you put some runs on the board it’s going to help your starter relax a little bit,” McClendon said. “He fed off it and did a nice job.”
Ruggiano scored twice and drove in two runs. He came in batting .213 with one homer and one RBI in 26 games.
Carson Smith got the last out in the eighth and Fernando Rodney yielded an RBI single to J.J. Hardy in the ninth before securing his 10th save.
Chen (1-3) allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings. It was the first time in eight starts that the left-hander yielded more than three earned runs.
Adam Jones had three hits for the Orioles to raise his batting average to .343. But Baltimore did little else offensively against Elias.
“He was working quick, throwing strikes getting ahead early,” said Steve Pearce, who went 0 for 4. “He kept us all off balance.”
Seattle used doubles by Ruggiano and Mike Zunino to go up 1-0 in the second inning.
Former Oriole Nelson Cruz led off the fourth with a double and Ruggiano hit a 2-2 pitch into the left-field seats for a 3-0 lead.
After Chris Taylor tripled in a run in the seventh for Seattle, Jones led off the bottom half with a single and was promptly erased in a double play. Chris Davis followed with a double but was stranded.
Baltimore finally broke through in the eighth. After Elias got two quick outs, Rey Navarro and Manny Machado both singled before Jimmy Paredes greeted Smith with an RBI single. Paredes, however, was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double after Cruz fumbled the ball in right field.
Mariners: Seattle welcomed C Welington Castillo and optioned C Jesus Sucre to Triple-A Tacoma. Obtained in a trade Tuesday with the Cubs, Castillo will start Thursday. He said, “ I’ve got to get my mind clear and start over. This is like spring training. Hopefully, I can get into a rhythm.”
Orioles: Mike Wright will make his second major league start Saturday in Miami. The right-hander blanked the Angels over 7 1-3 innings Sunday, becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to win his debut as a starter without allowing any runs or walks, according to information provided by the Orioles from the Elias Sports Bureau.
Mariners: OF Austin Jackson (sprained right ankle) “was a little sore” after playing nine innings for Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday, according to Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon. “We’re not going to rush this,” McClendon said.
Orioles: RHP Bud Norris (bronchitis) will start Friday for Triple-A Norfolk. He is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, but more likely will be activated for a May 28 doubleheader.
Mariners: LHP J.A. Happ (3-1, 2.98 ERA) brings a three-game winning streak into Thursday afternoon’s series finale.
Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (2-5, 6.34) makes his first start since May 12 after being sidelined with back spasms.
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