Mariners fall as comeback comes up short

Mariners fall as comeback comes up short

BALTIMORE -- J.J. Hardy delivered the decisive hit with a single up the middle in the eighth to give the Orioles a 5-4 win and series victory over the Mariners on a cold and rainy Thursday at Camden Yards.

Steve Pearce got Baltimore started in the first inning with a grand slam, the first of his career, but the game was halted due to rain in the middle of the third inning. Upon returning, the Mariners' bullpen held the Orioles hitless for five innings while tying the game at 4, thanks to Rickie Weeks' pinch-hit two-run single in the fourth and Logan Morrison's bases-loaded walk in the seventh.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jake Kring-Schreifels is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense struggles following Seager's ejection

No. 5 hitter tossed after strikeout in fifth, misses two bases-loaded opportunities

Offense struggles following Seager's ejection

BALTIMORE -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon will be the first to tell you that his team has done everything it could do to get in its own way through its first 40 games of the season.

Third baseman Kyle Seager's ejection in the fifth inning of the Mariners' 5-4 loss Thursday afternoon at Camden Yards was the latest stumble, helping cripple an offense that had plenty of chances to come back, but was ultimately unable to produce in several key moments.

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Jake Kring-Schreifels is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McClendon: Pitching staff starting to hit stride

Mariners manager credits bullpen with battling through early struggles

McClendon: Pitching staff starting to hit stride

BALTIMORE -- Aside from the recent hiccup from starter Taijuan Walker on Tuesday, manager Lloyd McClendon said before Thursday's series finale against the Orioles that his pitching staff is finally starting to gel.

"My guys have been very, very consistent," McClendon said. "And that's really encouraging when you get that type of pitching. It leads you to believe that you can put streaks together."

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Jake Kring-Schreifels is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix looks to bounce back against Blue Jays

Felix looks to bounce back against Blue Jays

Felix Hernandez takes the mound for the Mariners as they open a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Friday.

The ace right-hander was dealt his first loss of the season against the Red Sox on Saturday, giving him a 6-1 record with a 2.30 ERA in eight starts this season.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Early run support boosts Elias' confidence

With offense behind him, lefty earns first win of 2015

Early run support boosts Elias' confidence

BALTIMORE -- Roenis Elias knew he was going to have a good day against the Orioles on Wednesday, judging from the way he was throwing in the bullpen prior to the game.

The young left-hander has pitched well all season, but that still has not translated into wins because the Mariners have struggled to get him runs. This time, Seattle got some early offense, and Elias did the rest, holding Baltimore scoreless into the eighth inning en route to a 4-1 victory.

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Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Elias, Ruggiano top O's to even series

Elias, Ruggiano top O's to even series

BALTIMORE -- Roenis Elias was dominant over 7 2/3 innings, holding the Orioles to one run in Seattle's series-tying 4-2 win Wednesday night.

Elias, who took a shutout into the eighth, struck out four and scattered six hits to pick up his first win this season. Justin Ruggiano went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer to back his effort.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castillo ready for new start with Mariners

Catcher to start in finale vs. O's after being traded from Cubs

Castillo ready for new start with Mariners

BALTIMORE -- Welington Castillo said he was "shocked" after being traded from the Cubs to the Mariners for right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina this week.

Castillo, 28, signed with Chicago as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 8, 2004, and spent his entire 11-year professional career with the organization. So there was some initial anxiety about moving to a new team.

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Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New uniform, same pop for Cruz in Baltimore

New uniform, same pop for Cruz in Baltimore

BALTIMORE -- Back in a familiar spot as he approached the batter's box at Camden Yards, Nelson Cruz tried to take in the moment.

In his first game back in Baltimore since signing a four-year deal with the Mariners in the offseason, Cruz received a warm reception from the 19,494 fans in attendance, who showered him with cheers and chants of 'Cruuuz.'

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Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker roughed up as Mariners fall to O's

Walker roughed up as Mariners fall to O's

BALTIMORE -- Jimmy Paredes had a career-high four RBIs as the Orioles outpowered the Mariners with a series-opening 9-4 win on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

Paredes, who had a game-tying two-run single in the fourth off Mariners starter Taijuan Walker, clobbered reliever Danny Farquhar's 3-1 fastball in the sixth for a two-run homer to raise his average to .346 and give the O's a 7-4 lead. It was his sixth homer in 25 games.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith belts shot, brings one back in big 1st

Smith belts shot, brings one back in big 1st

BALTIMORE -- Mariners left fielder Seth Smith had a first inning to remember in Tuesday's series-opener against the Orioles, impressing with both his bat and his glove.

Smith opened the game with a leadoff home run, sending a 1-2 fastball from Miguel Gonzalez to deep right field for his fourth home run of the season.

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Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jackson progressing, but still few days away

Jackson progressing, but still few days away

BALTIMORE -- Eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, center fielder Austin Jackson remains a few days away from rejoining the Mariners, according to manager Lloyd McClendon.

Jackson, who has been out since May 3 with a sprained right ankle, went 1-for-4 in his fourth rehab game with Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday afternoon, hitting leadoff and playing center field.

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Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's fans give Cruz warm welcome before HR

O's fans give Cruz warm welcome before HR

BALTIMORE -- Nelson Cruz got nothing but love from Orioles fans on Tuesday night.

Cruz, last year's Most Valuable Oriole who helped lead the club to its first American League East title since 1997, stepped to the plate in the first inning to loud cheers at Camden Yards. It was exactly what the All-Star was hoping for.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners get Castillo to bolster catching depth

Seattle trades right-handed reliever Medina to Cubs

Mariners get Castillo to bolster catching depth

SEATTLE -- Looking to add depth at the catching position, the Mariners acquired six-year Major League veteran Welington Castillo from the Cubs on Tuesday in exchange for right-handed reliever Yoervis Medina.

The 28-year-old catcher is expected to join the Mariners on Wednesday in Baltimore, and a corresponding roster move will be made at that time to clear a spot for him. He'll presumably fill the role of backup catcher to Mike Zunino, a job currently held by Jesus Sucre.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Slugging Miller named AL Player of Week

Mariners shortstop earns second career honor after posting 3 multihit games, 4 homers

Slugging Miller named AL Player of Week

Mariners shortstop Brad Miller has been named the American League Player of the Week after leading the Majors in slugging percentage last week.

Miller hit .429 (9-for-21) with four home runs, three doubles, six runs and five RBIs over six games to claim his second career honor (July 20, 2013). He led the Majors with a 1.143 slugging percentage, and led the league in home runs and total bases (24).

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners awaiting rest of bats to click with Cruz

Riding cleanup man and pitching turnaround, club confident hitting will fall into place

Mariners awaiting rest of bats to click with Cruz

SEATTLE -- As the Mariners prepare to open a nine-game East Coast road swing Tuesday in Baltimore, they're looking at a familiar situation.

The pitching, long regarded as the backbone of Seattle's success, has come around impressively in the last few weeks and was critical in a just-completed 6-3 homestand that lifted the Mariners' record to 17-20. But scoring enough runs to consistently support those hurlers remains an issue, even with Nelson Cruz carrying a hot hand as the club's new cleanup man.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton dominates Red Sox to lift Mariners

Paxton dominates Red Sox to lift Mariners

SEATTLE -- Mariners shortstop Brad Miller hit his third home run in the past two games and left-hander James Paxton extended his scoreless streak to 20 innings with eight shutout frames on Sunday as Seattle beat Boston, 5-0, at Safeco Field.

Paxton evened his record to 2-2 with a 3.59 ERA as he limited Boston to five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. The 26-year-old became the first Mariners southpaw starter to throw 20 straight scoreless frames since Erik Bedard in 2011.

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Ian Browne and Greg Johns are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Watch Jay Buhner shave heads for 'Buzz Cut Night'

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Watch Jay Buhner shave heads for 'Buzz Cut Night'

Hair: Mankind's greatest enemy. Whether it's being disgustingly puffy on humid days, flopping into our eyes when we're outside working or simply disappearing before we're ready to say goodbye (an issue that hits all too close to home), we're constantly waging a losing war against the follicle beast. 

Unless you're willing to go bald like Jay Buhner and his legion of fans. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Miller takes control by breaking out with bat

Mariners utility man stays hot, crushing homer in win over Red Sox

Miller takes control by breaking out with bat

SEATTLE -- Brad Miller gets it. He is in the big leagues, making a good living playing the game he has been fascinated with since his youth, and he's going to enjoy himself.

There's an old saying: "No sense worrying about what you can't control, because if you can't control it, there's no sense worrying about it. And no sense worrying about what you can control, because if you can control it, then control it."

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton keeps rolling in latest scoreless start

Left-hander shuts out Boston's potent lineup for eight innings

Paxton keeps rolling in latest scoreless start

SEATTLE -- There was a time this season when James Paxton was lugging an ugly 8.40 ERA after three starts, still searching for his first win and looking little like the dominant young lefty expected to help the Mariners make a run at the postseason.

But those days seemed far behind the 6-foot-4 southpaw on Sunday as he fired eight scoreless innings in a 5-0 victory over the Red Sox, extending his scoreless string to 20 innings and dropping that once-hefty ERA to a manageable 3.59.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McClendon expects Felix to make next start

Ace right-hander tweaked left ankle in Saturday's loss to Red Sox

McClendon expects Felix to make next start

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez uncharacteristically walked three batters in the sixth inning of Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Red Sox after tweaking his left ankle, but manager Lloyd McClendon said Sunday his ace shouldn't have any problem making his next scheduled start Friday in Toronto.

McClendon said he didn't think the 29-year-old will need to take any added precautions this week with the ankle, which he originally twisted in his second start of the season in Oakland on April 12. The soreness is believed to be more of a nagging issue than a problem that will affect Hernandez, who is 6-1 with a 2.30 ERA in eight starts.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

American hero Clint Dempsey throws out first pitch

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American hero Clint Dempsey throws out first pitch

Clint Dempsey has done a lot of things to stand out in the collective conscious of the American sports fan. He scored 30 seconds into the U.S. Men's National Team's first game of the 2014 World Cup. He scored 57 goals while with Fulham and Tottenham in the English Premier League. He, umm, raps. 

Those all pale in comparison with Sunday. One day after Dempsey's Seattle Sounders defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-0, with Dempsey providing an assist, the striker threw out the first pitch before the Mariners-Red Sox game. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Felix: Command issues, not ankle, key to loss

Felix: Command issues, not ankle, key to loss

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez acknowledged that he twisted his left ankle early in a rough sixth inning in Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Red Sox, but the Mariners' ace insisted that had nothing to do with suffering his first setback of the season.

"No, it wasn't the ankle. It was just me," Hernandez said after walking three batters in the sixth, when Boston scored twice to take the lead. "It was mechanical. My sinker was moving away from the strike zone. … The whole game, I fell behind a lot of times. My command wasn't there."

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix takes first loss as Mariners fall to Boston

Felix takes first loss as Mariners fall to Boston

SEATTLE -- Rick Porcello pitched into the seventh inning and Blake Swihart's RBI double in the sixth plated the go-ahead run off Felix Hernandez as the Red Sox topped the Mariners, 4-2, on Saturday, handing Hernandez his first loss of the season in front of a crowd of 45,055 at Safeco Field.

"Given the way things have been going, four runs is a little bit of an outburst for us," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We had a very good overall approach tonight. We've got a big arm going against us tomorrow, and hopefully this continues."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Ortiz enjoys challenge of facing King Felix

Ortiz enjoys challenge of facing King Felix

SEATTLE -- Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz isn't bragging. He is, however, smiling.

As one of the game's premier hitters, Ortiz enjoys the challenge of facing the better pitchers. Few are as good, much less better, than Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller continues hot stretch with two-HR game

Miller continues hot stretch with two-HR game

SEATTLE -- Brad Miller may have lost his starting shortstop job earlier this month, but he's found a way to keep helping the Mariners, as the newly ordained utility player hit a pair of home runs in Seattle's 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday at Safeco Field.

Miller, filling the designated hitter role, drove a pair of solo shots for Seattle's only damage against Rick Porcello. Miller accounted for two of the Mariners' five hits on the night, going 2-for-3 with a walk and extended his hitting streak to five games, during which he's batted .471 (8-for-17) with five runs, three doubles and three home runs.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners, Sox pay tribute to Negro Leaguers

Mariners, Sox pay tribute to Negro Leaguers

SEATTLE -- The Red Sox and Mariners paid tribute to Negro League players on Saturday night at Safeco Field, donning throwback uniforms for the Boston Royal Giants and Seattle Steelheads of 1946.

The Red Sox wore road gray uniforms with navy trim and "BOSTON" in block letters across the front, and dark blue caps with red trim and absent a "B" on the front.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McLendon: Cruz's offense not a surprise

McLendon: Cruz's offense not a surprise

SEATTLE -- Nelson Cruz entered Saturday's play leading the American League in all three Triple Crown categories -- home runs, batting average and tied for tops in RBIs -- but Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon believes the big right fielder hasn't even hit his hottest streak yet.

While everyone knew Cruz would bring some needed right-handed power after leading the Majors in home runs with 40 last year for the Orioles, there were questions about how he'd fare with a full season playing his home games in Safeco Field. Yet he finished the first 35 games of the season with 15 home runs, 30 RBIs and a .358 batting average that is well above his career mark of .268 entering this season.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.