The Seattle Mariners’ dominant performance on the road was diverted by a pitcher they used to call their own.
Chris Tillman won his fifth straight start with another solid performance against his former team and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Mariners 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Tillman was drafted by Seattle in 2006 and traded to Baltimore two years later with Adam Jones for Erik Bedard. Since then, he has gone 7-0 in nine career starts against Seattle.
“He’s having a really good year,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said about Tillman. “All four pitches, he competes well. He doesn’t give you a whole lot to hit. I thought we had some good swings at him but didn’t put any big numbers up there against him.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
The Mariners fell to 14-7 on the road, which is still the best mark in the AL. Robinson Cano doubled in the eighth inning and has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games.
Mark Trumbo and Matt Wieters hit back-to-back homers for the Orioles, whose 17-7 record at Camden Yards is the best home mark in the major leagues. Wieters also had two doubles for his first three-hit game this season.
Tillman (6-1) allowed two runs on four hits with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. Closer Zach Britton relieved Brad Brach and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. Britton got his 11th save by recording five outs.
When asked whether he has extra motivation when playing the Mariners, Tillman replied, “I got nothing for you. We seem to swing the bats well every time I face these guys.”
Trumbo and Wieters gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the second with consecutive homers off Taijuan Walker. Leonys Martin answered the next inning with a solo shot off Tillman, who had allowed only one previous home run this season.
Nelson Cruz singled in the fourth and has reached base in 44 of 47 career games against the Orioles. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Iannetta that tied the game at 2-2.
“The balls kind of rise, so it’s kind of tough to lay off those pitches,” Cruz said of Tillman. “He was throwing the curveballs against righties and the sliders and changeups against lefties. He was on.”
Baltimore took back the lead in the fourth after Trumbo singled and Wieters followed with an RBI double. In the fifth, Walker allowed a leadoff walk to Hyun Soo Kim, and then let him score with a throwing error and a wild pitch.
“I didn’t realize I had that much time, threw too quickly and just threw the ball away,” Walker said about the throwing error.
Walker (2-3) allowed four runs on five hits over five innings.
Martin now has six home runs in 37 games this season, surpassing his total of five in 95 games for the Rangers in 2015.
Mariners: RHP Tony Zych (rotator tendinitis in right shoulder) is making progress with his rehab, but Seattle does not plan to rush him back. “We want to make sure when he does come back he doesn’t get shut down again,” manager Scott Servais said. Zych is on the DL retroactive to May 2.