The Orioles open a three-game series on Monday night looking for their ninth straight win against the Mariners and sixth in a row at Safeco Field.
Baltimore (15-10) will try to bounce back after failing to close out its first four-game sweep in Oakland since 1987 on Sunday. The Athletics tied it with two in the ninth and scored the winning run on Manny Machado 's throwing error in the 10th inning for a 9-8 victory.
Nate McLouth and Machado each had four hits and Chris Davis hit his league-leading ninth home run as the Orioles continued their offensive tear. They hit .315 with 11 doubles, five homers and scored 28 runs while winning three of four in Oakland to start a season-high 11-game road trip.
Zach Britton makes his season debut for Baltimore after going 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Norfolk. The left-hander allowed one run over six innings in his last start for the Tides on Thursday.
Britton, who went 5-3 with a 5.16 ERA in 11 starts last season, has no record and a 2.57 ERA in two career starts against the Mariners, walking two and striking out 11.
He allowed three hits over nine shutout innings in a 2-1, 12-inning win over Seattle on May 12, 2011.
Baltimore pitchers have posted a 1.84 ERA during the team's eight-game winning streak in this series.
This time, the Mariners (11-16) are looking to build off their first series victory after taking three of four from the Los Angeles Angels with a 2-1 home win on Sunday.
"We wanted to win this series bad," Morse told the team's official website. "We're going to have a lot of these one-run games, and to come out on top like that means a lot for the character of this team."
Former Oriole Joe Saunders (1-3, 6.33 ERA) takes the mound after allowing eight runs and 11 hits - including a pair of homers - over five-plus innings in a 10-3 loss at Houston on Wednesday."Just a bad day. That is all I care to say," said Saunders, who has given up 15 runs and 20 hits in his last two starts. "We'll just turn the page on it, go get them next time and forget about this one."
Saunders surrendered two runs over 11 1-3 innings in two starts for Baltimore in the 2012 playoffs and has won all five of his despite a 4.73 ERA in seven career starts against the Orioles.
Baltimore, though, has 11 home runs and 16 doubles against left-handers, ranking near the top of the majors in each category.
Matt Wieters has a homer, single and a walk in three career plate appearances against Saunders, though Davis is 2 for 13 with a homer and six strikeouts in this matchup.
Machado is hitting .433 over his seven-game hitting streak, while former Mariner Adam Jones is batting .342 during his nine-game tear.
Seattle's Dustin Ackley has batted .406 in a nine-game hit streak, but he's batting .205 in 39 career at-bats against the Orioles.
The Mariners rank near the bottom of the majors with a .212 batting average against left-handers.
|April 28, 2013||Taylor Teagarden||15-Day DL||Dislocated left thumb|
|April 07, 2013||Nolan Reimold||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring tightness|
|April 05, 2013||Brian Roberts||15-Day DL||Ruptured tendon, right knee|
|April 04, 2013||Brian Roberts||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring injury|
|March 26, 2013||Wilson Betemit||60-Day DL||Right PCL tear|
|March 23, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|April 23, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 22, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Torn right hamstring|
|April 15, 2013||Stephen Pryor||15-Day DL||Torn right lat muscle|
|April 12, 2013||Michael Morse||Day-to-Day||Fractured finger|
|April 11, 2013||Michael Saunders||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|April 10, 2013||Michael Saunders||Day-to-Day||Sprained right shoulder|
SEATTLE (AP) -- After two tough starts on the road, Joe Saunders was back home where he is nearly invincible.
Saunders allowed his first earned run in three home starts this season but pitched his eighth career complete game to lead the Seattle Mariners over the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 Monday night before the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history.
Saunders (2-3) gave up four hits, walked one and struck out two in his first complete game since April 27, 2012, while improving to 8-0 at the Mariners' home. This season, he is 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA in Seattle and 0-3 with a 12.51 ERA in three road starts, although neither he nor his manager can explain the numbers.
"I don't know," Mariners skipper Eric Wedge said. "That's the beauty of baseball. Some guys just have more success against certain teams, or certain hitters, or at certain places."
In his last two starts, Sanders didn't get past the fifth inning, allowing seven runs at Texas and then eight runs at Houston. The left-hander said he'd been bothered by soreness in his quadriceps against the Astros, but was pain-free against the Orioles as he finished them off in 105 pitches.
"I don't know what's going on," Saunders said. "I pride myself on being a good road pitcher, and haven't done that well this year. In my mind, I need to be a lot more consistent."
The Mariners' offense also made things easy for their starting pitcher, beginning with leadoff hitter Michael Saunders , who homered in his first at-bat since he was activated from the disabled list.
Michael Saunders sprained his right shoulder April 10 when he crashed into the fence while making a catch. He sent Zach Britton 's second pitch into the right-center seats for his first career leadoff home run.
Kyle Seager had a two-run triple and Jason Bay added three hits as the Mariners won their third straight game for their longest winning streak of the season. Their latest victory came in front of 9,818 fans at the 14-year-old ballpark.
Joe Saunders ' only costly mistake came when Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to give Baltimore a 2-1 lead. It was the last hit for the Orioles.
Seattle broke the game open against Britton (0-1), who gave up six runs and 10 hits over six innings in his first start of the season after being called up from Triple-A Norfolk.
"After the home run, I was dog-cussing myself in the dugout because I didn't want to make a mistake," Joe Saunders said. "For the guys to come back like they did, and keep going off a pretty good sinkerball pitcher in Britton, it was impressive to watch and it was fun to watch."
Britton got into trouble after a strange sequence in the sixth. After Justin Smoak singled to start the inning, umpire Alan Porter made a hard throw to give Britton the new ball, hitting the left-hander on his throwing shoulder, and the pitcher was briefly shaken up.
"The umpire smoked me. I had no idea. I was looking down at the ball, and all of a sudden another ball hit me. It didn't feel great," Britton said. "It kind of hit a nerve so it tingled a little bit, but it was fine after that."
When he returned to the mound it didn't get any better.
Bay followed with his third hit of the game and, after Robert Andino 's sacrifice, Brendan Ryan hit an RBI single. It looked as if Britton might get out of the inning when Michael Saunders hit a weak, broken-bat grounder to second base, but the ball was too slow for the Orioles to turn a double play, and Seager followed with his triple.
"We've all got a good momentum," Andino said. "Everybody's pitching in, doing their part, passing the baton and we've got a good flow going on right now."
NOTES: Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy , the fourth selection in the 2011 amateur draft, received a platelet-rich plasma injection and will rest for six weeks. Bundy has what manager Buck Showalter termed a flexor mass, which caused pain in his forearm and elbow. "We're just going to take a conservative approach and get it resolved," Showalter said. "We look forward to him getting going in six weeks." ... After the game, Baltimore optioned C Luis Exposito to Triple-A Norfolk. Before the game, Showalter said the Orioles might activate C Chris Snyder on Tuesday. Snyder was acquired in a trade from the Angels after backup catcher Taylor Teagarden was placed on the disabled list Sunday. ... Seattle optioned OF Carlos Peguero to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for Michael Saunders .