Taking a closer look at the Mariners

The Orioles have reached the final series on their three-city West Coast tour, beginning a four-game set tonight against the Mariners.

machado-gray-swing-sidebar.jpgThey went 2-4 against the Mariners last season, losing two of three at Safeco Field. Manny Machado batted .360 (9-for-25) with four doubles and two home runs in six games.

The Orioles were 12-3 against the Mariners over the two previous seasons.

On May 31, the Orioles (26-27) and Mariners (26-28) began the day under .500. They would make the playoffs if the season ended today.

The Angels have the best record in the American League at 30-16 since May 31, according to STATS, but the Orioles (29-18) and Mariners (27-20) aren’t far behind.

Seattle has lost two in a row and is 2-4 in the second half.

The Mariners are 22-13 against left-handed starters this season and they’re facing Wei-Yin Chen tonight. The 22 wins are the most in the majors, ranking ahead of the Tigers (21) and Angels (20).

Mariners closer Fernando Rodney leads the American League in saves, converting 27 of 30 opportunities. The Orioles were interested in him over the winter and talked to his agent multiple times. At least one person in the organization preferred Rodney to Grant Balfour.

The Orioles didn’t sign either one, but they seem quite happy with Zach Britton in that role.

Seattle owns the lowest bullpen ERA in the majors at 2.39. Their starters haven’t allowed more than three earned runs in the last 10 games since July 10, registering a 2.59 ERA.

Tonight’s starter, Hisashi Iwakuma, has tied Cliff Lee’s club record by not walking a batter in each of his last four starts. His 28 2/3 consecutive innings without a walk ranks second in club history behind Lee’s 38-inning streak in 2010.

Robinson Cano is batting .336 with 44 doubles, one triple, 28 home runs, 102 RBIs, 109 runs and a .930 OPS in 154 career games against the Orioles.

The Mariners are 3-2 this season with the roof closed and 1-6 when it moves during games. So, if it moves tonight, don’t freak out like George Costanza.

Down on the farm, Ivan DeJesus Jr. hit a grand slam today for Triple-A Norfolk in an 11-4 win over Toledo. First baseman Christian Walker went 3-for-5 and is batting .370 with the Tides.

Norfolk has won 10 of 11.

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