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Taijuan Walker, offense propels Mariners past Orioles in game one




6/30 vs BAL by TOM HAYDEN

SAFECO FIELD, SEATTLE, WA. ----

The Mariners took game one of this four-game weekend series with the now 47-31 Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night. Baltimore's offense has been on fire lately, and RHP Taijuan Walker found a way to silence their bats in his first start since missing his last start with a (6/24 vs STL) with discomfort in his foot. With the win, the Mariners now find themselves at a game above .500 with a W-L record of 40-39. Seattle trails Texas by 10.5 games, and Houston by 1.5 games in the American League standings at this point of the year. The M's are 2.0 games in back of a wild card spot.

Offensively on Thursday night, the Mariners combined for 9 hits. LF Seth Smith (.263 AVG) went 1-4 on the night with a 2-run HR in the fifth inning of this one. Smith's HR was for his seventh of the year, and his 2-RBI night now gives him a total of 29 RBI on the year so far. 2B Robinson Canó (.306 AVG) went 1-3 scoring 2 runs. RF Nelson Cruz (.285 AVG) went 2-2 on the night with 2 hits, and also scoring a run. Nelson connected for his 14th double of the season in this one. 3B Kyle Seager (.267 AVG) went 1-2 with an RBI and 2 walks. Kyle now has a total of 50 RBI on the season. 1B Dae-Ho Lee (.283 AVG) went 1-4 at the plate with 2 RBI on the night. Lee now has a total of 32 RBI on the season in 58 games, 156 at bats.

On the mound on Thursday night, Taijaun Walker made his fifteenth start of the 2016 season. Walker went 6.1 innings giving up only 1 run on 4 hits (earned run), while giving up a HR and striking out 5. Walker earned himself the win, and now has a W-L record of 4-6 on the season with an ERA of 3.29. Relieving Walker were RHP Edwin Diaz (2.03 ERA) RHP Joaquin Benoit (5.30 ERA) and RHP closer Steve Cishek (2.45 ERA). Edwin Diaz earned his fifth hold of the season in 0.2 innings, giving up nothing and striking out 2. Benoit went 0.2 innings giving up 2 runs on 2 hits (all earned) while striking out 1 and walking 1. For closer Steve Cishek, he earned his 19th save of the season in 1.1 innings of work, giving up no runs on 2 hits while striking out 3 Orioles on the night.

The Mariners and Orioles are set and ready to play Game 2 baseball on Friday night in Seattle. RHP Wade LeBlanc will make his second career start in a Mariners uniform. LeBlanc has taken Nathan Karns' place in the 5-man rotation, and Karns has been sent to the bullpen to try and correct some small mistakes. LeBlanc (0-0, 1.50 ERA) and the M's will face BAL RHP Kevin Gausman (1-5, 4.73 ERA). Be sure to catch all of the Game 2 action on ROOT Sports NW for watching or 710 ESPN Seattle radio for listening purposes. First pitch start time- 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM ET!

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue.

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