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Orioles starter Tyler Wilson earned and kept his starting rotation spot this year by making sure nights like Saturday didn't happen. When two men reached, the third wouldn't dent a baseball, then the left-center-field façade, and drive them all in.

Former Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz did that on the eighth pitch of the game Saturday. It was all downhill from there.

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Wilson allowed three home runs and eight runs overall in three-plus innings, his shortest start of the season, and the Seattle Mariners offense never slowed in thumping the Orioles, 12-6, at Safeco Field.

"I definitely don't want to take any credit away from what they did out there for lack of my performance, but I obviously didn't throw the ball very well," Wilson said. "A pretty frustrating outing in the sense that our guys are out there battling. We're all out there battling for the same thing, and I didn't do my job in pulling the weight tonight."

The Mariners had five home runs on the night in a 16-hit shelling, with Vance Worley and Mychal Givens conceding one each. Worley, who pitched for the first time since his mid-June groin injury, allowed three runs on five hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings, then Givens gave up a home run on his first pitch.

They've now lost three straight in Seattle, and need a win Sunday to stave off a four-game sweep.

"We have to pitch better and play defense better to have a chance," catcher Matt Wieters said. "But tomorrow is a whole different day, and we have to forget about this one and move forward."

Back in the swing: A night after managing just five hits in a lifeless performance, the Orioles wore their hitting shoes to the park Saturday. They managed 12 hits in the loss, with first baseman Chris Davis, third baseman Manny Machado, second baseman Jonathan Schoop and left fielder Nolan Reimold managing two apiece.

… but not the big swings: The problem, offensively, was that the Orioles managed just one run at a time when bigger opportunities presented themselves. In the fourth inning with one run already in and two runners on, designated hitter Mark Trumbo grounded into a double play to end the inning. In the fifth inning with the bases loaded, center fielder Adam Jones drove one in on a fielder's choice before Schoop grounded out to end the inning.

An inning later, Jones popped up with the bases loaded to end a sixth inning that saw the Orioles score two and threaten for more.

More Davis drives: What the Orioles could have used in any of those situations was what Davis managed to do for the second night in a row — muscle a ball out into the left-center-field bullpen bar. His seventh-inning home run was his 21st of the season, with five of those coming in the past seven games.
 
Reimold runs around: The spacious outfield at Safeco Field gave Reimold plenty of problems Saturday. Over the course of the night, three deep fly balls came his way. All three would have been difficult catches to make, but they ended up eluding him for doubles each time.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

twitter.com/JonMeoli

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