BALTIMORE – It was nearly five hours between Orioles hits. Few of the 33,085 who were at Oriole Park when the game began were still there to see J.J. Hardy score Chris Davis with a single up the middle in the eighth.
After two rain delays, the Orioles head off to Miami after a grueling 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.
“It was actually one of those games when you gain some experience, you kind of get on the plane feeling good about doing something that not just anybody can grind through. It was one of those games that we've been good at over the last three years,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“It’s just so easy to give in.”
The Orioles (18-20) didn’t have a hit between Jimmy Paredes’ single in the second and Davis’ infield single off Danny Farquhar (0-3).
After Steve Pearce grounded out, Davis took second and scored on Hardy’s single.
Hardy, who missed the first 25 games with a shoulder injury, doesn’t yet feel like himself.
“It's nice to get hits when you're feeling like I feel right now. Every day I'm making adjustments. I feel like one day I go up there with a different stance, next at-bat, you know, a different stance. I'm just trying to feel something that feels good and have something to work off of. So it's definitely nice getting hits when you're not feeling great,” Hardy said.
Tommy Hunter (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth. Zach Britton worked the ninth for his ninth save.
The game started 12 minutes late, but rain began falling not long into play. After 2 ½ innings with the Orioles leading 4-1, play was called and didn’t resume for two hours, five minutes.
Chris Tillman started and allowed a run on a hit. He walked three and struck out one in his three innings.
The rain cost Tillman a chance to break his career long four-game losing streak.
“It was a weird day all around,” Tillman said. “It was a frustrating day, but that’s selfish. We got a win today, and a series win, so you move on.”
Seattle (18-21) scored a run in the second on Welington Castillo’s sacrifice fly. That scored Nelson Cruz.
Brian Matusz took his place and struggled through the fourth, allowing a two-run bases-loaded single by Rickie Weeks to cut the lead to 4-3. Matusz gave up three hits and walked one, but did strike out three.
In the first, Manny Machado led off with a single. Paredes hit into a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on Delmon Young’s two-out single off J.A. Happ. Davis walked, and Pearce hit his first career grand-slam home run, his fourth, to left field.
Pearce had been swinging poorly, but now he’s starting to hit a little better. His average isn’t over .200 yet.
“It was great, considering how I’ve been swinging the bat lately. Hopefully, this gets me started on the right foot moving forward,” Hardy said.
Brad Brach entered in the fifth, and allowed a single to Robinson Cano. He struck out Cruz and Kyle Seager was caught looking. Seager was ejected from the game by home plate umpire John Tumpane.
In the sixth, Brach got the first two outs and walked Justin Ruggiano. Chris Taylor grounded to third, but Machado couldn’t come up with the ball and was charged with his ninth error of the season. Rickie Weeks flied to center, ending the inning.
T.J. McFarland allowed singles to Brad Miller and Cano to start the seventh. Cruz singled against Darren O’Day to load the bases with none out. Willie Bloomquist flied to short right. Castillo hit a foul pop near the first base stands that Davis snared, and after going 0-2 on Logan Morrison, walked him to score Miller and tie the score at 4.
In the end, it was a difficult, but satisfying win for the Orioles.
“It’s tough when you start a game and then you get to wait for an hour, just sitting around and not knowing what’s going on. We had to find some way to stay loose, but we did a good job of that. The pitchers did a great job and kept us in the ballgame and we pulled it out in the end,” Pearce said.
NOTES: Rey Navarro was unavailable because he had a tooth extracted. … Paredes ran his on-base streak to 18 games with the second-inning single. … Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 2.43) faces Henderson Alvarez (0-3, 6.23) as the Orioles begin a three-game series at Miami on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. … Bud Norris will pitch Game 1 of Norfolk’s doubleheader against Rochester on Friday. Norris is on the disabled list with bronchitis.