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Mariners back LeBlanc, mash O's with 3 homers

July 1, 2016

SEATTLE -- Kyle Seager and Dae-Ho Lee launched two-run home runs on Friday as the Mariners powered past Baltimore, 5-2, at Safeco Field to claim their second win of the four-game series.Wade LeBlanc wasn't as dominant as he was in his first outing with the Mariners, when he threw six

SEATTLE -- Kyle Seager and Dae-Ho Lee launched two-run home runs on Friday as the Mariners powered past Baltimore, 5-2, at Safeco Field to claim their second win of the four-game series.
Wade LeBlanc wasn't as dominant as he was in his first outing with the Mariners, when he threw six shutout innings, but he still was able to limit the Orioles' lineup to two runs on three hits over six innings. Chris Davis' solo shot off LeBlanc in the second inning put an end to his streak of 24 2/3 consecutive shutout Major League innings. The left-handed pitcher spent 2015 in Japan, so that streak dates back to 2014.
"He attacked us," Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop said of LeBlanc. "He's got a really good changeup, he threw his changeup for strikes. And his fastball was really good. Tip your cap, he threw a really good ballgame."
Kevin Gausman took the loss for the Orioles as he allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out seven. Baltimore had won seven straight before arriving in Seattle and now sit at 47-32, four games up on Boston in the American League East.
The Mariners are 5-2 on their homestand, turning things around after a 2-8 road trip, as they've improved to 41-39.
"Our pitching has stabilized," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "That's been the key to the homestand. We've got some good starts from our guys, it lines up our bullpen and gives our offense a chance to get going. We're capable of playing this way for an extended period of time. We did it earlier in the year. As we talked about yesterday, it's something that needs to happen now and the guys are getting after it. It's great to see."

Seager delivers: The Mariners third baseman hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead. With Nelson Cruz on second after hitting a double to center, Seager got ahold of a 96 mph fastball and pulled it over the right-field fence for his 16th homer, which was projected at 429 feet away by Statcast™. Lee added his two-run blast in the eighth and the Mariners also got a solo shot from Seth Smith in the first.
"He's an underrated player," Servais said of Seager. "That's okay. I think he likes it that way. He just goes about his business, a real professional, and he's starting to take on a little bigger role on our club and clubhouse and it's nice to see."

Gausman done in by long ball: The righty, coming off his first win of the season, was solid over six innings. But a pair of homers, including the two-run shot from Seager, proved to be the difference. Still, Gausman picked up his second straight quality start and didn't issue a walk, keeping the sixth inning from completing getting away from him.
"I feel like my command has really taken strides in my last two starts," Gausman said. "Obviously, throwing a lot of pitches early. They fouled off a lot of tough pitches. So, that is something you just kind of keep going at them and try to get quick outs. Even the innings when I got quick outs, I felt like I'd get a one-pitch out and the next guy would have a six-pitch at bat and foul off four pitches. So that's something that is always going to be tough. The only thing you can do is battle and keep going at them."

O's hot bats slowed: Baltimore entered the series averaging nine runs per game, but it didn't do much again on Friday. After scoring three runs in Thursday's loss, the Orioles couldn't muster much off LeBlanc and struggled to get anything going all night. More >
"He's got a little cutter that I thought was effective for him, the changeup is always there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of LeBlanc. "That's a pitch you've always got to keep in the back of your mind. It's just very typical of good left-handed pitchers. You see a lot of them with that same repertoire and approach."

Diaz dials it up again: Mariners manager Scott Servais didn't hesitate to go with rookie right-hander Edwin Diaz in the eighth inning as he continues putting the hard-throwing 22-year-old into high-leverage situations. And Diaz delivered with a three-strikeout inning, setting down Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Davis around a one-out single by Jonathan Schoop and again touched 100 mph with his fastball. Diaz now has 26 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings since being called up from Double-A.
"They are pretty good hitters," Diaz said. "I need to throw my slider down in the zone, and that's what I did today."

The Mariners have hit 59 home runs at home, which is their most at Safeco Field prior to the All-Star break since the stadium opened in 1999. The previous record was 56 in 2000.

Orioles: Baltimore will send right-hander Tyler Wilson to the mound for the third game of the series on Saturday at 10:10 p.m. ET. In a start against the Mariners on May 19, Wilson allowed five runs over six innings.
Mariners: Seattle will send James Paxton to the mound against Baltimore on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. PT. The lefty has a 4.15 ERA in six starts this season.
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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Maddie Lee is a reporter for based in Seattle.