Saunders and Saunders Fuel M's Past O'sPosted:
SEATTLE -- It was a Saunders kind of night at Safeco Field on Monday as the Mariners opened a three-game set against the Orioles with a 6-2 victory.
Center fielder Michael Saunders returned to the Mariners lineup with a bang, lacing a leadoff home run on the second pitch of the game from Zach Britton. Saunders, back from a disabled-list stint with a sprained shoulder, went 1-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Meanwhile, left-hander Joe Saunders pitched a complete-game four-hitter to pick up his second victory of the season and continue his Safeco Field supremacy.
Saunders saw his scoreless streak at Safeco end at 17 innings when Matt Wieters clubbed a two-run homer in the fourth, but that was the only damage done by his former Orioles teammates.
Saunders is now 8-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 12 career starts in Seattle, including 2-0 with a 0.80 ERA in three outings this season. That stands in sharp contrast to his road woes this year, where he's posted a 12.51 ERA in three away games.
The win was the third straight for the Mariners, who improved to 12-16. Baltimore lost its second straight and fell to 15-11.
Michael Saunders' quick bolt set the tone for a nice game for Seattle's awakening offense. It was his first career leadoff homer but the fourth of the year for the Mariners, with Franklin Gutierrez hitting three before landing on the disabled list. The four leadoff blasts are already tied for the fourth most in a Mariners season, with the record at five.
Britton, making his first start for the Orioles since being recalled from Triple-A last week, wound up allowing 10 hits and six runs in six innings.
The Orioles southpaw gave up two runs in the fourth as Jason Bay hugged an RBI double down the third-base line and Robert Andino followed with a run-scoring single. Britton finally wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam with a Kyle Seager popout, but Seattle had a 3-2 lead.
The Mariners added on three more in the sixth on an RBI single by Brendan Ryan, a grounder by Michael Saunders that pushed across another run and then a triple by Seager that scored Saunders.
Bay finished 3-for-4 to raise his average to .269, while Justin Smoak and Seager each added two hits.