Orioles, Mariners battle for series victory in Seattle

( - In the final game between them this regular season, the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles will clash at Camden Yards on Sunday afternoon.

Seattle avenged a 2-1 loss to Baltimore on Friday with a 6-3 victory on Saturday to even the three-game series.

Robinson Cano launched a three-run home run in the fifth inning and Kendrys Morales drove in two runs with a single in the ninth to power the Mariners to their third win in the last five games.

"That's a good recipe for winning," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said afterward. "Robby came through big time for us there. He loves hitting in this ball park, and tonight was indicative of that."

Dominic Leone tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter James Paxton to claim the victory.

Miguel Gonzalez surrendered four runs on seven hits in just five innings to fall to 5-6 on the year.

Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with a double and Caleb Joseph had a double and a home run, his fourth of the season.

"It cost us the game. We had a base open there and he's a dangerous hitter," said Joseph of Cano's home run. "We've done the best we can to minimize his damage. He's a great player. He took advantage of a mistake. We all want it back, but that's baseball."

Baltimore has lost two of its last three games, but remains 2 1/2 games ahead of Toronto for first place in the AL East.

Sunday's pitching matchup features Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma going up against Baltimore's Chris Tillman.

It is difficult to get much attention as a Seattle pitcher with Felix Hernandez grabbing the majority of headlines, but Iwakuma deserves a great deal of praise as well. The 33-year-old right-hander is 9-5 with a 3.05 ERA and, like Hernandez, he has a WHIP below one (0.994). Iwakuma has also made great strides in driving his walk rate down. He is allowing a free pass just 0.7 times per nine innings and his 10.44 strikeout per walk ratio is the best in the bigs.

Iwakuma did allow a single walk in his last start, ending a streak of five starts without one, but he still got the win in the contest, allowing just two runs over seven innings in a 5-2 triumph over Cleveland.

In the start prior to that one Iwakuma faced Baltimore for the first time this season. He did not have as much success against the Orioles, allowing four runs over his seven innings of work. Seattle also lost the game, 4-0. It was just his second career start against Baltimore.

Tillman has not faced the Mariners this season, but he should be excited to do so considering he is 5-0 with a 2.45 ERA in five career starts against them.

His season stats have not been as spectacular, as he comes into Sunday with a 7-5 record and an ERA just below 4.00. He saw that second number rise slightly after his last start, when he allowed five runs, three earned, over five innings of work against the Angels. Baltimore still managed to win the game, although Tillman did not factor in the decision. The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Orioles in games Tillman pitched.

Baltimore won three out of four against Seattle last weekend.