SEATTLE (AP) Manny Machado didn’t think it was possible to reach the second deck of Safeco Field’s left field seats.
He proved himself wrong.
”Nah, no chance,” Machado said. ”Just good swings. Trying to get back into my routine, doing the things I need to do and I got a good pitch to hit.”
Tim Beckham hit the first pitch of the game out for his first career leadoff homer, Machado hit the sixth grand slam of his career an inning later, and the Baltimore Orioles routed the Seattle Mariners 11-3 on Monday night.
Baltimore pounded Seattle’s pitching, scoring double-digit runs for the second time in three games and the sixth time since the All-Star break. Beckham got the Orioles started with his 16th homer, but it was Machado’s slam that broke open the game as part of Baltimore’s six-run second inning. Machado drove a 1-2 pitch into the first row of the second deck in left field for his 23rd home of the season and second grand slam in of the road trip.
Since July 30, Machado is hitting .386 with five home runs and 20 RBIs.
”You look at where he is statistically and where he was tells you how much he’s been grinding,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. ”… He’s been really swinging the bat well for us. He’s dug out of a big hole.”
Trey Mancini hit his 21st homer and Seth Smith added his 12th to turn it into a blowout.
That was plenty of runs for Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman (9-8), who stumbled early before settling into a groove. Gausman retired 12 of 13 at one point, the stretch broken up by Mike Zunino’s homer leading off the fifth inning.
Gausman allowed one earned run in seven innings, scattering six hits and striking out six. It was the fifth time in his last six starts Gausman allowed one earned run or less and just the second time in 14 career road starts against AL West teams he got the victory.
The most important stretch for Gausman came in the first inning. Seattle had already scored once and had runners on second and third with no outs. Gausman struck out Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager back-to-back and got a groundout from Guillermo Heredia to avoid further damage.
”After Buck told me I was out of the game, he told me I won the game in the first inning,” Gausman said. ”Obviously I’m not trying to give back that run right away but I knew if I could make good quality pitches and mix my pitches I had a chance to get out of that inning.”
Meanwhile, Seattle’s sudden fade from the wild-card race continued. The Mariners lost their fifth straight – all at home – coming off a nine-game road trip where they went 6-3 and were holding the second wild-card spot in the AL.
”I look where we’re at now and where we were at five days ago or six days ago, it’s like wow, you can’t believe it’s the same club,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. ”But it is baseball and we’ll turn around and get going back in the right direction, but it needs to start happening here pretty soon.”
Starting pitching continued to be the primary issue for Seattle. Yovani Gallardo (5-8) was tagged for eight runs and failed to record an out in the fifth inning. He pitched that deep as Seattle tried to save its overworked bullpen. Casey Lawrence gave up a two-run homer to Smith in the fifth inning and a solo shot to Mancini in the seventh.
Cruz hit his 29th homer in the ninth inning for Seattle.
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM
Since being acquired from Tampa Bay, Beckham has been surging at the plate. Beckham is hitting .500 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in the past 14 games. He has at least one hit in 13 of the 14.
The constant roster churn of Seattle’s bullpen continued with the addition hard-throwing right-hander Thyago Vieira on Monday. Vieira, 24, made his major league debut pitching a perfect ninth inning and hitting triple-digits on the stadium radar gun. The Brazilian was part of the World Team for the All-Star Futures Game this year.
Seattle optioned RHP Christian Bergman to clear a roster spot.
Orioles: LHP Wade Miley (6-9) makes his 25th start and will be going for this third straight win. Miley allowed no earned runs in seven innings in his last start.
Mariners: Andrew Albers will be added to the 25-man roster and start in the majors for the first time since September 2016 as Tuesday’s starter. At least temporarily, Albers takes the spot in the rotation held by James Paxton, who is on the disabled list with a strained pectoral.