O's use big first inning to beat Mariners, finish April at 16-11

Held to two runs Monday night, the Orioles doubled that before the game's second out was recorded Tuesday and beat Seattle 7-2 to even this three-game series at a win each.

The Orioles scored four runs in the first inning against rookie right-hander Brandon Maurer, who entered this start with an ERA of 15.43 in the first inning this year.

It started with a leadoff homer to right by Nate McLouth. It was his second homer of the year and his 11th career leadoff homer. It was also his 16th hit over his past 30 at-bats to that point.

The next hitter, Manny Machado doubled and scored on two wild pitches. Four batters later Matt Wieters delivered a two-run double to complete the scoring. Wieters has four RBIs in the series.

The losing pitcher, Maurer gave up six hits and four runs over four innings, throwing 79 pitches. He entered with an ERA of 5.61 on the season, but it was 1.89 over his previous three starts.

Machado's first inning double extended his batting streak to nine games. That ties Andres Mora (April 27-May 22, 1976) and Boog Powell (July 24-August 1, 1962) for the longest hit streak by an Oriole younger than 21 years old.

The kid continues to impress at bat and is now batting .410 (16-for-39) during his hitting streak. He had two doubles tonight and has five over his last five games, nine in the last 15 and a team-leading 11 on the season.

The lead grew to 6-0 on Chris Dickerson's two-run single in the sixth. Dickerson started in right field as Nick Markakis served as the DH. He was 1-for-8 as an Oriole before going 3-for-5 tonight.

Meanwhile Jason Hammel battled his command most of the night and was lifted during Seattle's two-run rally in the last of the sixth. He went five innings plus three batters allowing seven hits and the two runs, with three walks and five strikeouts on 102 pitches.

Hammel did get the win and is now 4-1 with an ERA of 3.79 and the Orioles are 5-1 in his six starts. But O's starters have pitched just 16 1/3 combined innings over the last three games.

The Orioles won for the sixth time in the last nine games and the ninth time in the last 13. They are now 4-2 with 37 runs scored on this road trip.

The Orioles went 14-9 (.609) last April and finished this April going 16-11 (.593).

The 16 wins ties the O's record for April victories set previously in 1969, 1997, 2005 and 2008.

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