Seattle, WA – 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.
"You have to be efficient these days and you have to get quick outs," Saunders said of his complete game. "Defense was amazing behind me and we got some clutch hits. It was awesome."
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.
"It was okay, all things considered," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said of Britton's outing. "I thought he was throwing well. He gave us a chance."
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.