The Baltimore Orioles are tied for the major league lead in road wins with nine and look to stretch that mark to double digits when they go for a series win over the Seattle Mariners Wednesday in the finale of a three-game set from Safeco Field.
Baltimore is 9-6 away from Camden Yards and evened this series against Seattle with Tuesday's 7-2 win behind a 13-hit attack and a four-run first inning. Nate McLouth set the tone with a leadoff home run in the first inning, while Chris Dickerson ended 3-for-5 with two RBI and Matt Wieters added two hits and two runs batted in.
"Nate is a strong man," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said of McLouth, who is batting .485 with two homers and seven RBI the last nine games. "Pound for pound he's about as strong as we got. He's put together a good stretch here."
The big first inning was enough to give starter Jason Hammel the win as he allowed two runs in five innings of work. Tommy Hunter, Troy Patton, Darren O'Day and Brian Matusz kept the Mariners off the board the rest of the way.
The Orioles have won nine of their last 13 and are 2 1/2 games off the AL East lead. They are 4-2 on an 11-game road trip and hope Wei-Yin Chen can build on his latest start when he toes the rubber Wednesday.
Chen has won consecutive outings and dazzled in Friday's 3-0 victory at Oakland with eight scoreless frames, five strikeouts and two walks. He evened his record to 2-2 with a 2.53 ERA in five starts this season and has no record and a 2.84 ERA in two career starts against the Mariners.
Baltimore will close out its road trip with four games against the L.A. Angels this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Mariners had won three in a row and four of five games until Tuesday's loss. Brandon Maurer was hit hard in that first inning and gave up four runs and six hits in four innings to absorb the loss. Blake Beavan then gave up three runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief.
"I was rushing quite a bit today," Maurer said. "I needed to settle down and take some deep breaths and throw better strikes."
Michael Morse homered for the second time in three games and finished with two hits. Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley all finished with a pair of hits in the loss.
The Mariners are 4-2 on a seven-game homestand and will head east to face both Toronto and Pittsburgh. Hoping to close out this residency on a positive note for Seattle will be Aaron Harang, who is still searching for his first win.
Harang has lost all three of his starts in a Seattle uniform and the trend continued with Friday's 6-3 setback to the Angels. The right-hander was charged with five runs and six hits in just three innings, a season low. He has given up at least three runs in each start.
Harang is winless (0-2) at Safeco Field this season and lost his only start against Baltimore back on June 10, 2005, when he struck out 10 and gave up three runs in seven innings as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
Baltimore dominated Seattle last season, winning eight of the nine encounters and five of six in the Emerald City.