BALTIMORE-- The Orioles got 15 hits in Monday's offensive outburst, enough to edge Seattle, 7-6, for their fifth consecutive win in the series opener of a big showdown between the two American League Wild Card hopefuls.The victory, backed by solid relief pitching from late-inning arms Darren O'Day and closer Zach
BALTIMORE-- The Orioles got 15 hits in Monday's offensive outburst, enough to edge Seattle, 7-6, for their fifth consecutive win in the series opener of a big showdown between the two American League Wild Card hopefuls.
The victory, backed by solid relief pitching from late-inning arms Darren O'Day and closer Zach Britton, who picked up his first save since snapping a 60-consecutive saves record on Wednesday, moves the O's ahead of the Mariners and just outside the second AL Wild Card spot. It also marks the fifth straight win for the Orioles, who seem to be finding consistency at just the right time.
"I think it's pretty obvious that if you're .500 or below, you're not going to the playoffs. That's the obvious thing," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, whose club is 1 1/2 games back of the Wild Card spot at 66-65. "But until you take care of some other things … Mathematically, we know that's a given. That's what I take out of it. We have another game [Tuesday] that could take you back in the other direction. That's the world we live in."
• American League Wild Card standings
Six different Orioles drove in a run, with catcher Welington Castillo going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and Adam Jones delivering his 25th homer of the season with a fifth-inning solo shot. Manny Machado also had three hits, with Chris Davis' RBI double in the seventh putting the Orioles ahead, 7-6.
Seattle got a career-high five RBIs from Ben Gamel, who had a three-run homer in the fourth inning, and tied the game at six with a two-run sixth-inning single.
Danny Valencia also went deep, hitting his 14th homer of the year off of Chris Tillman in the second.
Both starters struggled, with Tillman charged with six earned runs on three hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings. Seattle lefty Marco Gonzales, who has not been able to complete five innings in six starts since being acquired from the Cardinals, allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks over 3 1/3.
"Out of my starts here, tonight I felt the most confident in my stuff, which I think is the most frustrating part," said Gonzales. "In between my last start and tonight, I thought I made some good adjustments. I've been working, busting my butt, trying to do the little things right and be better each time out. That's the most frustrating part."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Davis Doubles: After Trey Mancini's leadoff single off of Emilio Pagan, Davis doubled down the right-field line. Mitch Haniger struggled to come up with it, allowing a hustling Mancini to cross home plate and give the Orioles the lead in the seventh inning.
Zunino vs. O'Day: With runners on first and third putting the tying run 90 feet away, O'Day struck out catcher Mike Zunino to end the eighth inning with the O's lead intact.
"We put good pressure on them," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "We had first and second in the eighth inning and the leadoff guy on in the seventh when Haniger hit the bullet right at the shortstop that turns into a double play. Not a lot of things went our way offensively tonight, but we'll keep grinding."
"We'll see. We'll talk about it. I certainly like a lot of things he does. He just struggled putting hitters away. When he's not right on his spots, they had pretty good swings. That's a tough lineup for him to go through. They'd seen him before and with all the right-handed power they have in their lineup, it's certainly a challenge for any left-hander. We'll take a look at it and continue to work with him. I think he's got a bright future, it's just not clicking right now." -- Servais, on whether Gonzales will continue starting after rosters expand on Friday
"Definitely. It feels really good right now, especially offensively. I feel like we're all not trying to do too much. We trust the guy in front of us and behind us to get the job done so, yeah, it's been really good to be a part of the offense these last few games." -- Mancini, on if the Orioles are gaining momentum
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Jones' 250th career homer in the fifth inning also gave him his seventh consecutive season with 25 or more home runs. It is the longest such streak currently in the Majors.
Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz's eighth-inning single gave him a 16-game hitting streak against his former Orioles club, dating back to May 19, 2015. He's hit .396 with six doubles, five homers and 15 RBIs in 53 at-bats in that span.
Mariners:Erasmo Ramirez (5-4, 4.52 ERA) makes his sixth start since being acquired from the Rays when he takes the mound for Tuesday's 4:05 p.m. PT game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The 27-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA over his last three starts. He threw six scoreless innings vs. the Orioles in two relief outings earlier in the year for Tampa Bay.
Orioles: The Orioles will send Dylan Bundy to the mound on Tuesday against the Mariners at 7:05 p.m ET. Bundy is looking to make it a clean August with his final start of the month as he returns from the bereavement list. The righty is 3-0 in four starts, all Orioles wins. Bundy has a 2.67 ERA and has struck out 33 in 27 innings this month.
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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [
@GregJohnsMLB]() and listen to his podcast.