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Felix leads the way in win over Orioles

Defense, rallies give support for Hernandez's 7th win of the season
Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Felix Hernandez had good life on his fastball and sinker Monday night, especially the latter, which forced the Orioles to keep banging balls into the ground. It's a big reason Hernandez only faced trouble in one inning. Hernandez gave the Mariners six strong innings and ended his two-game losing streak as Seattle defeated the Orioles, 5-3, in the series opener at Camden Yards.

The right-hander's sinker proved effective throughout the game -- nine of the 18 outs he recorded came on ground balls. He's been relying a lot on breaking pitches at times this season, but the sinker and fastball really helped.

View Full Game Coverage

BALTIMORE -- Felix Hernandez had good life on his fastball and sinker Monday night, especially the latter, which forced the Orioles to keep banging balls into the ground. It's a big reason Hernandez only faced trouble in one inning. Hernandez gave the Mariners six strong innings and ended his two-game losing streak as Seattle defeated the Orioles, 5-3, in the series opener at Camden Yards.

The right-hander's sinker proved effective throughout the game -- nine of the 18 outs he recorded came on ground balls. He's been relying a lot on breaking pitches at times this season, but the sinker and fastball really helped.

View Full Game Coverage

"I thought he did a really good job tonight," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I thought his stuff was pretty good early on … but he had a little life on the fastball at the bottom of the zone. He wasn't just relying on the curveball and the changeup."

"I had good command of my fastball," Hernandez said. "That's me. You keep the ball on the ground, and that's the way I pitch, and it [was] pretty good."

Video: SEA@BAL: Hernandez catches Davis looking in the 2nd

Hernandez, whose last win came on June 3, allowed three runs on four hits in his six innings to improve to 7-6. His only trouble of the night came in the sixth inning, when the Orioles scored twice and tied the game at 3. However, Hernandez got some help from shortstop Jean Segura, who made back-to-back great defensive plays, and Denard Span, who made a tough catch in the outfield, to end the Orioles' scoring threat.

Video: SEA@BAL: Segura lays out for stellar backhanded stop

Segura said it felt good to be back after missing the last four games due to a right forearm infection. At the plate, he went 0-for-3 with two walks.

"[It] was kind of boring for [me] to not be able to help the team win some ballgames," Segura said. "My timing is going to come back [at the plate]."

Dee Gordon sparked a two-run rally in the top of the seventh with a bunt single. The Mariners scored twice in that inning -- first on a wild pitch from Miguel Castro (2-3), then on Mitch Haniger's sacrifice fly.

Gordon gave the Mariners their first lead of the game in the second with a two-run, two-out single to center, making it 2-0. Gordon ended the night 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a stolen base and has now has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games.

Video: SEA@BAL: Gordon plates 2 runs with a single

Span added a solo homer in the sixth.

Edwin Diaz held the lead in the ninth for his 28th save of the season.

Video: BAL@SEA: Diaz K's Beckham to nail down his 28th save

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Segura made two straight solid defensive plays in the sixth -- a diving stop with a throw to second for a forceout, and then a barehanded pick of a Jonathan Schoop shot that Hernandez deflected. Segura threw Schoop out at first, and Span ended the inning with a sliding catch on a Tim Beckham liner to left. That left the game tied at 3, and the Mariners took the lead for good in the seventh.

Video: SEA@BAL: Span makes sliding grab on Beckham's liner

HE SAID IT
"Sometimes [the ball] finds holes. For the last week and a half, two weeks, they just found a lot of holes. Now it's time for us to play better defense." -- Gordon

UP NEXT
James Paxton (6-2, 3.72 ERA) will try for his first win since June 10 when he takes the mound for Seattle Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. PT in the second of a four-game set in Baltimore. Paxton gave up 10 earned runs over a total of 7 1/3 innings over his last two starts after winning four of his previous five starts. Baltimore will start Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.38), who has earned a loss in his each of his last seven starts.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Seattle Mariners, Felix Hernandez