SEATTLE -- Andrew Albers picked up his first Major League victory since 2013 with five innings of one-run ball in his Mariners debut to help Seattle snap a five-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Orioles on Tuesday at Safeco Field.The Mariners needed to go to their 16th
SEATTLE -- Andrew Albers picked up his first Major League victory since 2013 with five innings of one-run ball in his Mariners debut to help Seattle snap a five-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Orioles on Tuesday at Safeco Field.
The Mariners needed to go to their 16th starting pitcher of the season, the most in the Majors, to fill in for the injured James Paxton. And the 31-year-old Albers -- acquired Friday from the Braves in a cash deal -- worked around some early trouble and finished his five frames with six hits, one walk and four strikeouts as well as the victory in his first MLB game of the year.
"It means a lot, but at the same time it's more important right now just winning ballgames," said Albers, who had pitched with Triple-A Gwinnett all season with the Braves. "Whether I get the 'W' or somebody else, it doesn't really matter. Coming in here, getting to be part of a Wild Card race, that's pretty awesome."
Emilio Pagan, Marc Rzepczynski, Nick Vincent and Edwin Diaz combined to shut out the Orioles on no hits over the final four frames to lock down the winas Seattle lifted its record back to 60-61, leapfrogging the Orioles (59-61) in the tight American League Wild Card chase. The Mariners are a game and a half back of the Angels for the No. 2 Wild Card spot and a half game ahead of Baltimore.
Jonathan Schoop ripped a first-inning home run, his 26th of the year, but that was all the Orioles could muster as they missed a chance to reach .500 for just the second time since July 1.
"We only scored one run, that's the story of the game for me," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Not many opportunities, but couldn't cash in on the one we did."
Wade Miley lasted just 4 2/3 innings in his first start against Seattle since being traded by the Mariners to the Orioles in July 2016, giving up three runs on five hits as he fell to 6-10 with a 5.21 ERA.
"I was barely missing with some fastballs and cutters in," Miley said. "I'm talking, like, inches in. Could have been strikes and kind of fell behind a little bit."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dyson does it again: The Orioles racked up six hits in the first three innings against Albers, but managed only one run thanks to a pair of double plays. And the second twin killing was a beauty for the Mariners as center fielder Jarrod Dyson tracked down a third-inning line drive by Adam Jones and fired home to nail Manny Machado trying to tag and score. Dyson now leads the Majors with 11 outfield assists and on this one he needed his hardest throw of the season, tracked at 93.8 mph by Statcast™.
"That play really changed the whole game," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "We'd have been down a little more there and who knows how that inning would have played out. The catch alone was good. I was happy enough with that. When I saw him pop up and try to throw home, I didn't think he had a chance, quite frankly. But it was a perfect throw. A heckuva play."
Old-school hustle still works: Rookie left fielder Guillermo Heredia continues to make things happen for the Mariners when given an opportunity and the 26-year-old Cuban turned in two key plays in this one. In the fourth, Heredia lined a ball into left and turned it into a hustle double as he never hesitated and easily beat the throw of Trey Mancini, then scored Seattle's first run on Nelson Cruz's single. And in the sixth, Heredia slid hard into shortstop Machado to break up a double play on a grounder to first by Robinson Cano as Dyson scored from third for a 3-1 lead.
"He plays hard all the time," Servais said. "He plays with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and he gets after it and runs the bases hard. The slide at second was big and picked up a huge run. And the at-bats have been outstanding lately, getting deep in counts and using the whole field to hit. And we know what he can do defensively. He's had a great year for a young guy that we didn't really know what we were going to get."
"That was kind of a game-changer at that point. A momentum changer. I was jogging behind the plate at that point to back up thinking, 'Shoot, I gave up another one.' Then you see that throw and 'Oh my gosh.' Wow. That was a huge play in the ballgame." -- Albers on Dyson's catch-and-throw double play
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With Albers retiring the final eight batters he faced and the bullpen not allowing a runner in the final four frames, the Mariners closed out the game by recording 20 straight outs.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Orioles challenged a call on a stolen base attempt by Leonys Martin on Baltimore catcher Welington Castillo in the eighth inning, claiming shortstop Timothy Beckham made the tag before Martin's foot touched the bag. The call was overturned after the replay crew determined Castillo's throw and Beckham's tag were in time and Martin was caught stealing to end the inning.
Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez (5-7, 6.25 ERA) toes the rubber for the 3:40 p.m. ET getaway game Wednesday at Safeco Field. Jimenez has honed in his command lately with a 2.63 ERA and 12 strikeouts per nine innings in his last four starts.
Mariners:Marco Gonzales (0-0. 6.48 ERA) makes his third start in place of the injured Felix Hernandez in Wednesday's 12:40 p.m. PT series finale. Manager Scott Servais says he'll give a little longer leash to the 25-year-old southpaw, who was pulled after allowing four hits and one run in 4 1/3 innings in his last outing against the Angels.
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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.
Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. He covered the Orioles on Tuesday.