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Mariners sweep O's for 8th extras win of year

MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- There's just no stopping the Mariners when a game goes to extras.

Thursday's 4-2 series-sweeping 10-inning win over the Orioles was the 14th consecutive time the Mariners have come out victorious when the game goes to extras, dating back to last season. In 2018 alone, Seattle is 8-0 in games longer than nine innings.

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BALTIMORE -- There's just no stopping the Mariners when a game goes to extras.

Thursday's 4-2 series-sweeping 10-inning win over the Orioles was the 14th consecutive time the Mariners have come out victorious when the game goes to extras, dating back to last season. In 2018 alone, Seattle is 8-0 in games longer than nine innings.

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"I don't know," Nelson Cruz said, laughing, when trying to explain his club's unblemished record in extras. "I guess, pitching. … [It's] been good all year."

In all four games in the series, the Mariners were forced into close finishes by the last-place Orioles. Thursday was a 2-2 gridlock from the fifth inning onward, things unraveled quickly for the Orioles in the 10th. Dee Gordon reached on a leadoff single and scored on an ensuing single from Jean Segura that was bobbled by center fielder Colby Rasmus -- a play Mariners manager Scott Servais admitted not too many guys in the league could score on.

Video: SEA@BAL: Gordon's wheels give Mariners lead in 10th

"When you get a guy on first base like Dee Gordon that can run that well, it puts a lot of pressure on our defense," Orioles first baseman Chris Davis admitted.

"When I made the pitcher step off, I told [Davis], 'He's going to throw [Segura] another heater and he's going to hit [it],'" Gordon said. "And it happened."

An ensuing error allowed Mitch Haniger to reach, and Cruz -- out of the lineup the past two games with a lower back strain -- added an insurance run for his third hit and third RBI of the game following a two-run blast in the fourth and a single in the eighth.

Video: SEA@BAL: Cruz belts a 2-run homer to right-center

The win was powered by a second straight solid outing from Mike Leake, and the Mariners offense scraped together the runs they needed for the win. The sweep comes at a perfect time for the Mariners, who were able to close out their AL East road trip at .500 after going 1-5 in their series against Boston and New York.

"Really a dig-down deep, gut-check-type game," Servais said. "You find out where you're at, you play against good teams, you go out and compete every day. We've got a lot of talent on this team, and people around the country are starting to see it."

Leake -- a midseason acquisition for Seattle last season -- compiled a 6.00 ERA in his first nine starts of the year. Since then, he's put together a cool 2.22 ERA, including his seven-inning effort Thursday and eight innings for the lone win on the road trip before arriving in Baltimore.

"You're always going to be in a really good game with him," Servais said of Leake. "He figures out how he wants to approach the other team, and [he's] very consistent. Feel great about giving him the ball every fifth day."

Video: SEA@BAL: Leake fans 6 over 7 innings of 2-run ball

At the early onset, Leake, pitching off his strongest start of the season, cruised, but things unraveled temporarily in the fourth. Manny Machado blasted a one-out, 1-0 knuckle-curve 401 feet to left to get Baltimore on the board. Two batters later, Davis one-upped his teammate, sending a first-pitch sinker 403 feet to left.

But the Mariners clawed back for the franchise's first four-game sweep in Baltimore, capped by Juan Nicasio's first save of the season with Edwin Diaz unavailable after three straight days of action.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Vincent comes out victorious: Nick Vincent, pitching in his second straight game, had to work himself out of a bit of a jam in the eighth inning. Steve Wilkerson hit a leadoff single to right and stole second when Vincent struck out Trey Mancini, the next batter up. Vincent then worked a Rasmus popup on a 3-0 count and a Mark Trumbo popout to end the inning after intentionally walking Machado.

SOUND SMART
Cruz -- an Oriole in 2014 -- has haunted his former club since it decided not to re-sign him. For his career, Cruz has 12 home runs, 18 doubles and 51 RBIs in 61 games against the Orioles and has 20 home runs with 63 RBIs in 111 games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"It's like any other ballpark," Cruz said, downplaying his success playing in Baltimore. "When you're feeling good, you can hit anywhere."

Video: SEA@BAL: Cruz plates Segura with a single in the 10th

SEAGER ENTERS GAME
Kept out of the starting lineup with a toe injury, Kyle Seager was used as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and replaced Andrew Romine at third base in the final two innings. Seager flied out to left in his one at-bat and was responsible for two putouts in the ninth.

"He lobbied to get into the starting lineup, [but I] thought it best to give him the day off with that toe," Servais said. "But he was ready to go. Nice to have those guys [come] off the bench and contribute."

HE SAID IT
"Just have to keep going. We know we're going to lose games as well. We're not going to go 162-0. Nobody is capable of doing that. Sometimes you are going to have bad spells, and that was our bad spell and probably going to happen again, but [it's] just about how you bounce back." -- Gordon, on bouncing back from the disappointing first two series of the road trip

UP NEXT
After a bounce-back sweep over the Orioles, the Mariners return home on Friday to take on the Royals in a three-game weekend series. Marco Gonzales, who has taken the loss while giving up at least five runs in his past two outings, will look for a rebound start opposing Kansas City's Ian Kennedy. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PT at Safeco Field.

Zachary Silver is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Seattle Mariners, Nelson Cruz, Dee Gordon