SEATTLE – There aren’t many similarities between this year’s Orioles and the most successful regular-season team in club history, but for one day, Baltimore did a reasonably good impersonation of that 1969 squad.
Donning the uniforms worn by the team that won 109 games and the AL pennant half a century ago, the major league-worst Orioles ended a 10-game skid by beating the Seattle Mariners 8-4 on Saturday.
“Maybe we’ll wear them tomorrow, too,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Whatever uniform allows us to win, I’ll put it on.”
Jonathan Villar hit a three-run homer – the favorite offensive weapon of Earl Weaver, who managed the 1969 club – and Anthony Santander had a two-run shot. Andrew Cashner worked six strong innings for the Orioles, who snapped the eighth-longest losing streak in club history. Baltimore will have a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since May 6 in Sunday’s series finale.
Cashner (7-3) allowed two runs while scattering five hits and striking out three. He has gone at least six innings in six of his last eight outings and earned his team-leading eighth quality start.
“Cash set the tone, did a great job,” Hyde said. “Didn’t have his best stuff, but grinded through six innings.”
Cashner got plenty of help from his defense, including center fielder Keon Broxton, who took away a pair of hits by running down fly balls to left-center and right-center in the fourth inning.
Omar Narvaez followed Broxton’s grabs with a single, but was stranded when third baseman Hansen Alberto ran down Kyle Seager’s popup in foul territory with a sliding catch.
“Keon definitely changed the game with those two plays out in the outfield,” Cashner said.
Tommy Milone held the Orioles without a hit for the first three innings. In the fourth, Pedro Severino singled and Renato Nunez doubled before Villar took Milone (1-2) deep to left for his ninth homer of the season.
“Just a couple pitches left over the plate,” Millone said. “The home run ball I thought I hit my spot; Villar just went up and got it. Just got to tip your cap to that.”
Santander extended Baltimore’s lead to 5-1 in the sixth, sending Gerson Bautista’s 0-2 pitch into the stands in right for his second home run of the season.
The Mariners, whose three-game winning streak ended, took an early lead off Cashner. Domingo Santana walked with one out in the first and scored on Daniel Vogelbach’s double to right-center.
But Seattle didn’t threaten again until the sixth. Santana led off the inning with a double and scored on a groundout by Narvaez, who reached first on a throwing error from Alberto.
Alberto bounced back by adding to Baltimore’s lead with two outs in the eighth, driving in two with a bases-loaded single against Jesse Biddle.
“I just liked that we tacked on runs,” Hyde said. “We have not done that at all this year. … We always make it tougher on ourselves, so today, it was nice.”
Santana finished 2 for 3 and scored three runs, including his 19th homer of the year, a solo shot off Josh Rogers in the eighth. Santana has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games.
“Domingo is swinging the bat outstanding,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
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