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Mariners' bats kept at bay in loss to Orioles

@gregjohnsmlb
June 22, 2019

SEATTLE -- The Mariners broke out their 1969 Seattle Pilots throwback jerseys on Saturday. But in hindsight, they’d probably just as soon throw out the entire game as the Orioles rolled to an 8-4 win to snap a 10-game losing streak. The Pilots lasted just one season in Seattle, winning

SEATTLE -- The Mariners broke out their 1969 Seattle Pilots throwback jerseys on Saturday. But in hindsight, they’d probably just as soon throw out the entire game as the Orioles rolled to an 8-4 win to snap a 10-game losing streak.

The Pilots lasted just one season in Seattle, winning 64 games before moving to Milwaukee. The Mariners have found a more permanent home in the Northwest, but are on pace this year to win only 68 games as they hit the halfway point of the season with a 34-47 record.

Seattle carried a three-game win streak into Saturday’s game, but the Orioles made a handful of outstanding defensive plays and slugged two home runs to end their longest losing streak since 2010.

Box score

About the only bright spot for the Mariners was the continued surge of right fielder Domingo Santana, who went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and a walk, and scored three of Seattle’s four runs. Santana’s solo shot in the eighth inning was his fourth in the past four games, hiking his season total to 17 with 58 RBIs.

“Domingo is swinging the bat outstanding,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “All pitches -- he’s on the breaking balls, the fastballs, he’s got really good timing at the plate.”

The 26-year-old is establishing himself as one of the Mariners’ offensive forces to build around going forward, as he’s hit .352 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in his last 17 games.

“The thing that has really stood out for me is how good a feel Domingo has to hit, when to look for pitches, situations, how they’re going to pitch,” Servais said. “It’s outstanding. That’s why he’s been able to have good years in the past and he’s having a great year right now.”

Quick burst costs Milone

Mariners lefty Tommy Milone zipped through 3 1/3 innings without a hit before the Orioles jumped on him with a single by Pedro Severino, a double by Renato Nunez and a three-run blast by Jonathan Villar on a fastball he tried to elevate.

That burst was the only blemish on Milone’s five-inning outing as he allowed just four hits with three walks and six strikeouts, but fell to 1-2 with a 3.35 ERA.

“Just a couple pitches left over the plate,” Milone said. “The home run ball, I felt I hit my spot. It’s just Villar went up and got it. If you miss up in the zone, sometimes they can do damage. But that one I felt was above the zone and more times than not, I’ll have success with that pitch.”

No relief for the weary

With Austin Adams throwing two scoreless innings in Friday’s 10-9 win and closer Roenis Elias having pitched in three straight games, the Mariners abandoned their plans to use an opener in front of Milone.

Seattle was thus also without two of its most-reliable relievers, which wound up a factor as the Orioles tacked on five runs against Seattle’s bullpen to pull away to their biggest winning margin since a 5-1 victory over the Indians on May 17.

“I knew going in we’d have to have some guys step up,” Servais said. “We’re going to continue to give guys opportunities and see if they can take that and run with it. It just didn’t happen today.”

Hard-throwing rookie Gerson Bautista left an 0-2 breaking ball up that led to a two-run homer by Anthony Santander in the sixth, Dan Altavilla allowed a run in the seventh in his first appearance since being recalled and lefty Jesse Biddle gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in the eighth as those three pitchers issued four walks between them.

“It’s frustrating for all of us and certainly frustrating for them,” Servais said of his bullpen group. “They have stuff. I think everybody sees they have velocity, they have breaking pitches. It’s the inconsistency of getting it over the strike zone. You have to control the zone and a few of our guys haven’t done that and it catches up.”

Homers, homers, homers

Santana’s home run was the 142nd of the season for the Mariners, second-most in the Majors behind the Twins, and on pace for 284 for the year. That would shatter the club record of 264 in ‘97.

But Seattle’s pitchers have also allowed 136 home runs, on pace for 272, which also would smash their record of 237 set two years ago. Only the Orioles have allowed more long balls this year with 154.

The home runs continued Seattle’s streak of having either hit or allowed a long ball in each game this season. That 81-game streak has shattered the old MLB record of 69 straight games with at least a home run by one team, set by the 1985 Orioles and matched by the ‘17 White Sox and Rangers.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.