Chen, the team leader in ERA, has dominated back-to-back starts and now looks to match a career high with his third consecutive victory Wednesday night when the visiting Orioles go for their fifth straight series win.
After getting denied a four-game sweep in Oakland with Sunday's 9-8, 10-inning loss, Baltimore (16-11) had its eight-game winning streak over Seattle snapped with Monday's 6-2 defeat.
The Orioles, though, avoided a season high-tying third consecutive loss with Tuesday's 7-2 victory. The Mariners (12-17) had won their previous three games while allowing five runs.
Baltimore has won six of seven in Seattle, and Chen (2-2, 2.53 ERA) pitched well in two starts there last season but didn't win either one. The Mariners did win both, however, as he allowed four runs and struck out 11 in 12 2-3 innings.
Chen has posted four straight quality starts and was brilliant in winning the last two, surrendering five total hits and one run in 14 innings. He went a career-high eight innings in Friday's 3-0 victory over the A's.
"Not physically, but mentally, I think this is probably the best start I have had in the major leagues," Chen said through an interpreter.
Chen, who won a career-best three consecutive starts from June 6-17, hopes to provide another lengthy outing to help save the bullpen. Baltimore's relievers have had to pitch 12 2-3 innings in four games since Chen's last outing.
The Mariners' bullpen might see plenty of action as well if Wednesday's scheduled starter, Aaron Harang (0-3, 11.37), runs into more problems. Since he arrived from Colorado via trade last month, the veteran right-hander has lost each of his three starts while totaling 12 2-3 innings.
This could be a make-or-break start if Harang plans on keeping his spot in the rotation.
"... He's a veteran pitcher. He knows how to win at this level, and I'm sure he'll be better next outing."
Harang, whose opponents are batting .362, could get an early test with Nate McLouth , whose 11th career leadoff homer opened a four-run first inning Tuesday. McLouth is batting .485 with 14 runs in his last nine games and has seven RBIs over his past six.
McLouth, though, is 3 for 27 against Harang with 11 strikeouts, his most against any pitcher.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado , who has yet to face the right-hander, will try to extend his team-best hitting streak to 10. He's batting .410 over the last nine.
Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley has lifted his batting average from .145 to .253 during a 10-game hit streak. Ackley is 1 for 5 against Chen.
The southpaw, giving up a team-low .56 homers per nine innings, has not allowed a home run to any current Mariner.
Seattle's Michael Morse , who has two of his team-high eight homers in the last three games, is 2 for 3 against Chen - both singles.
|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 11, 2013||Michael Saunders||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
SEATTLE (AP) -- Coming home from a miserable road trip, Seattle manager Eric Wedge got the response he wanted from a scuffling ball club.
Taking five of seven and finally winning a series - two in fact - can quickly change the mood.
"I feel like our guys have taken significant steps and what you are seeing now is more the norm in regard to what our guys are capable of," Wedge said. "The way we're going to go about doing it is to be a complete team and to be able to count on all areas of our club."
Michael Morse hit an opposite-field two-run homer, his third home run in four games, Aaron Harang pitched six solid innings for his first win and the Seattle Mariners won their second straight series with an 8-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.
After not winning a series for most of April, the Mariners took three of four from the Angels and two of three from Baltimore.
Morse's homer was the highlight on a night when the Mariners scored four times with two outs off Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen (2-3). Michael Saunders had three hits and scored three times, while Kendrys Morales had three RBIs, including a two-run double in the sixth inning.
"The offense is starting to get better, the way that we have it in spring training," Morales said through an interpreter. "We have to keep playing every day hard and staying collective about it."
Morse became the first Seattle hitter to have nine homers in the team's first 30 games since Mike Cameron in 2002. Cameron's total included a four-homer game, and Morse was slowed in April by a small fracture in the little finger on his right hand.
Seattle was hitting just .230 on the season with two outs, but scored four runs on key two-out hits. Bay got the Mariners started with a double into the left-field corner to score Morales in the first after Chen easily got the first two outs of the game.
The Mariners scored twice in the second, including the first triple in the career of slow-footed Seattle catcher Jesus. Leading off the inning, Montero hit a drive to deep left-center that Adam Jones was tracking. Jones seemed confident enough that he blew a bubble with his gum as he chased the long fly ball, but watched as the ball deflected off the edge of his glove just before he crashed hard into the wall. Montero scored on Saunders' single and Morales followed with another two-out RBI base hit for a 3-0 lead.
Morse then capped Chen's miserable night with his drive to right-center in the fourth. Chen matched the shortest start of his career, lasting just four innings, giving up five runs, eight hits and walking three.
Morales and the Mariners were not done, adding three more in the sixth. Morales hit a two-run double to center and scored on Bay's sacrifice fly. It was just the third time this season the Mariners scored more than seven runs.
"It's a product of the process if you will. When you go up there with more confidence and a more consistent approach and ready to hit and staying within yourself, but beign aggressive at the same time, I think we're seeing a lot of our guys do that," Wedge said.
Harang (1-3) was knocked around in his three previous outings, failing to pitch past the fifth in any allowing 13 earned runs in his previous two outings against Texas and the Los Angeles Angels .
That all changed against the Orioles. Getting ahead of batters, Harang took a one-hit shutout into the sixth inning. He retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced and Matt Wieters was the only Baltimore batter to reach with a two-out double in the second.
Harang finally found trouble in the sixth, but was able to finish the inning without Seattle having to touch its bullpen. Manny Machado 's double extended his hitting streak to 10 games and was Baltimore's first hit since Wieters' double. Nick Markakis then lined a 3-2 pitch back up the middle into center field to score Machado and end Harang's shutout. Jones followed with an RBI double, but Harang struck out Chris Davis to end the inning.
Machado added a solo homer in the eighth inning.
"He's got too good a track record not to be better than his numbers so far," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said of Harang. "He will pitch well. This is a good pitchers park. I was hoping it wouldn't fall on us."
Notes: Former Baltimore 2B Roberto Alomar was announced Wednesday as this year's inductee into the Orioles Hall of Fame. Alomar played three seasons in Baltimore from 1996-98. He will be inducted in August. ... Orioles RHP Zach Clark made his major league debut when he took over for Chen in the fifth inning. Clark went 1 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and three hits. ... Seattle had double-digit hits in six of seven games during its homestand.