Baseball / Sports

O's blank M's, 4-0

SEATTLE--On a day when they traded for a designated hitter presumably to bolster their tepid offense, the Seattle Mariners served up another frustrating reminder of why they made the deal to acquire Kendrys Morales and why they may need to make a one or two more deals for additional help.

The Mariners managed just five hits--five singles--in a lackluster and feckless 4-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night at Safeco Field.

The five hits?

Dustin Ackley had a line-drive single to left in the second inning.

Corey Hart had a line-drive single to left in fourth inning.

Chris Taylor, who was making his big-league debut, got his first major-league in his second at-bat with a soft liner up the middle in the fifth inning.

Kyle Seager led off with a single to right to start the seventh.

Stefen Romero had a line drive into right field in the eighth.

That's it. That's the list.

They call came off Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen, who pitched eight shutout innings and issued one walk and struck out two batters to improve to 11-3 on the season.

The one walk was the closest the Mariners came to scoring. James Jones coaxed the walk from Chen to start the game. He stole second and moved to third on Romero's ground ball the right side.

But Jones was thrown out at the plate on Robinson Cano's swinging bunt. Chen made a nice play, coming off the mound, fielding the ball and flipping it from his glove to catcher Caleb Joseph, easily getting Jones.

Manager Lloyd McClendon asked for a replay of the play under the new plate/collision rule, asserting that Joseph was blocking the plate. After a review of more than three minutes, the call was upheld.

The Mariners had no other legitimate scoring opportunities beyond that since no other runners made it into scoring position.

Meanwhile, Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma pitched six scoreless innings in his seven-inning outing. But that one inning--a four-run third--torpedoed the start and put the Mariners behind 4-0 -- a deficit, which seems to be insurmountable of late.

There really were no signs that such an implosive inning was on the horizon. Iwakuma had allowed one hit through the first two innings and struck out Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy in succession in the second inning.

Iwakuma gave up three straight singles to start the inning with Nick Markakis driving in Ryan Flaherty on the third hit to put the Orioles up 1-0. Iwakuma wished the next hit would have been a single. He hung a 79 mph slider off the first pitch to designated hitter Delmon Young, who pounced on it and hit a rocket line drive over the wall in left field for a three-run homer.

Down 4-0, that was it for the Mariners.

Iwakuma followed with four shutout innings, retiring 12 of 13 batters and the bullpen provided two shutout innings of work.

But there would be no runs for the Mariners on Thursday night. Morales arrives on Friday.

How bad was the offense?

Taylor, who was called up before Thursday's game, received a standing ovation from the announced crowd of 19,621 for his first major-league hit. The second loudest cheer of the night came when he stepped to the plate for the first time and was introduced by public-address announcer Tom Hutyler. The third loudest cheer of the night was after he popped up to first base.

(c)2014 The Seattle Times

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