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Seattle Mariners

After noisy weekend, Mariners bats go quiet in loss to Orioles

Bob Condotta Seattle Times

It was the calm after the storm for the Mariners in their return home Monday night against Baltimore, following the tempest that was Sunday’s brawl-filled contest against the Angels in Anaheim, California.

Especially for the Mariners’ bats, which barely made a peep as they were held to just three hits in a desultory 9-2 loss to Baltimore in front of 21,615 at T-Mobile Park.

While Seattle’s offense was just about nonexistent, the O’s were as hot as the Seattle weather, smashing five home runs.

It was the Mariners’ second consecutive loss following a five-game winning streak, dropping them to 34-41 while the Orioles — who went 52-110 a year ago — improved to 35-40.

For a little while, it looked like the Mariners might be in danger of being no-hit by the Orioles for the second straight game at T-Mobile,

The last time Baltimore had been in Seattle, May 5, 2021, John Means threw a no-hitter.

On Monday, Baltimore’s Tyler Wells, a 6-foot-8 right-hander who was a reliever a year ago and making just the 15th start of his career, retired the first 14 batters before Cal Raleigh broke up the perfect game with a solo homer to right field with two outs in the fifth on a full count.

According to StatsbySTATS, before Raleigh’s HR the Orioles had faced 43 straight batters at T-Mobile without allowing a hit, walk or hit by pitch, the longest streak for any team at any ballpark in the last 40 years.

The Mariners already down 7-0 when Raleigh went deep, and his home run proved to a brief but ultimately futile glimmer of hope in a game that got away from them quickly.

Mariners rookie George Kirby allowed seven runs and four home runs in just four innings in what was the worst outing of his career, and the Orioles added another home run in the sixth in winning for the eighth time in their last 11 games.

Kirby hadn’t allowed more than five runs in any of his previous nine starts and hadn’t allowed a run in six innings against Oakland in his previous start five days earlier.

Baltimore’s early outburst snapped a streak of 24 straight games in which Mariners starters had allowed three or fewer runs, a team record.

The last team to do it was this same Orioles squad on June 1 in a 9-2 win over Seattle in Baltimore.

Baltimore’s five home runs included a solo shot by rookie catcher Adley Rutschman, who was the first overall pick of the 2019 draft.

Rutschman also singled in the first run of the game in the first inning much to the delight of a huge contingent of friends and family in the stadium as the something of a homecoming for the Portland native and former Oregon State standout who made his Major League debut on May 21. The Baltimore Sun reported that “as many as 1,000’’ supporters of Rutschman, including family members, were expected to be in attendance for what was his first MLB game in the Pacific Northwest.

The Mariners learned just before the game that outfielder Jesse Winker (seven games), shortstop J.P. Crawford (five games) and outfield Julio Rodriguez (two games) had been suspended for Sunday’s fight. But all appealed their suspensions meaning they were still eligible to play Monday and all were in the lineup.

It was Winker being hit by a pitch that kicked Sunday’s brawl into gear.

Seattle fans let Winker know his efforts were appreciated greeting him with a loud ovation — with many standing — when he came to bat for the first time in the bottom of the first.

As he stepped into the box, Winker paused and stepped back out for a second to acknowledge the crowd before stepping back in.

Alas, Winker swung and missed twice and then took strike three looking to end the inning, foreshadowing what was to come.

Wells finished the fifth for Baltimore following Raleigh’s homer but the O’s then went to their bullpen and Seattle tried to chip away at the lead.

After the O’s took an 8-1 lead on another homer in the top of the sixth, Seattle made it 8-2 on an Eugenio Suarez double off the left field wall.

Seattle was inches away from scoring two more when Taylor Trammell followed with a bloop to center with two outs. But Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins slid to make the catch, holding the ball aloft as both Seattle runners crossed home plate to no avail.

And that was pretty much that.

The Orioles scored first on a two-out single in the first inning by rookie Rutschman on a hard-hit ball that Seattle second baseman Adam Frazier knocked down but then couldn’t locate in time to make the out. That brought home Trey Mancini, who had doubled with one out. But Kirby then struck out Ryan Mountcastle to end the inning.

The Orioles got another run in the second when Mullins lofted a fly to left that fell in between Winker and Rodriguez — Winker appeared to think Rodriguez had it. Rodriguez slid for the ball but came up short.

The play was ruled a double, with Jonathan Arauz, who had singled, scoring from first.

The O’s then got two more in the third on back-to-back solo homers by Rutschman — just over the wall in right — and Mountcastle to make it 4-0.

It became 7-0 in the fourth in the same manner — back-to-back home runs. This time it was a two-run shot by Anthony Santandar on what was the 12th pitch of the at bat, followed by a solo shot by Austin Hays.

The win gave a Baltimore team whose rebuilding plan appears to be taking hold its first winning month since Aug., 2017.