SEATTLE — Joe Saunders allowed just two runs on four hits to record his eighth career complete game, as the Seattle Mariners bested the Baltimore Orioles, 6-2, on Monday in the opener of a three-game set at Safeco Field.
Saunders (2-3) issued just one walk and struck out two to earn the victory and improve to 8-0 in 12 career starts at Safeco Field.
Michael Saunders was activated off the 15-day disabled list before the game and smacked a solo shot to go with two RBI and two runs scored, while Jason Bay collected three hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Mariners, who have won three straight.
Zach Britton (0-1) was tagged with the loss in his 2013 debut after giving up all six runs on 10 hits over six frames in Baltimore’s second straight loss.
Matt Wieters stroked a two-run homer to account for the Orioles’ offense.
Michael Saunders made his presence felt immediately, as he launched Britton’s second offering into the seats in right-center field for a 1-0 lead.
The O’s jumped in front in the fourth on Wieters’ two-out, two-run blast to left, but the Mariners quickly answered in the bottom half to regain control.
Michael Morse started the frame with a single before Jesus Montero walked. After Justin Smoak popped out to second, Bay ripped a double to left to score Morse. Robert Andino followed with a single to right to plate Montero for a 3-2 lead.
Seattle tacked on three more runs in the sixth after Smoak and Bay stroked back-to-back singles to start the inning. Both runners moved up a base on Andino’s bunt before Brendan Ryan’s single to right scored Smoak.
Michael Saunders followed with a fielder’s choice to plate Bay before Kyle Seager scorched an RBI triple down the right-field line for a 6-2 lead.
Joe Saunders, meanwhile, held the O’s hitless after Wieters’ blast in the fourth, with the lone baserunner coming on a leadoff walk in the seventh.
Baltimore had won eight straight against Seattle dating back to last season … Joe Saunders improved to 6-0 in eight career starts against Baltimore … Michael Saunders had been on the DL since April 11 due to a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. To make room for him on the roster, Seattle optioned outfielder Carlos Peguero to Triple-A Tacoma.