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Orioles beat Mariners, 7-6, on walk-off single by Ramón Urías for first home win of season

Through the Orioles’ first four home games of 2021, it was their mistakes, either on the mound or in the field, that cost them.

That trend reversed itself in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader with the Seattle Mariners, a 7-6 walk-off victory in which the Orioles scored five unearned runs, rallied from an early deficit and blew a late lead.

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After Sam Haggerty tied the game in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run off Adam Plutko, Baltimore won its first home game of 2021 on a walk-off single by Ramón Urías, ending a four-game slide. Urías started at second base in both games of the doubleheader, homering in a 4-3, extra-inning loss, giving him as many starts Tuesday as he had through the first nine games of the season.

“I’m trying to take advantage of the opportunity, trying to maximize those chances that the manager is providing,” he said through team interpreter Ramón Alarcón. “Looking forward to some more.”

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The first two Orioles batters in the bottom of the seventh, the final inning of regulation in doubleheaders, went quietly before Maikel Franco drew a two-out walk. The game seemed bound to join the first game of the doubleheader by going to extras when Ryan McKenna’s half swing led to a slow roller between first base and the pitcher’s mound, but Seattle pitcher Casey Sadler failed to pick up the ball cleanly. After a wild pitch sent the runners to second and third, Urías followed with a single into center to score pinch-runner Rio Ruiz, delivering the Orioles their first home victory with fans in the stands since a 2-1 triumph over the Mariners on Sept. 22, 2019 — a span of 570 days.

“He got a huge hit for us,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It was a tough day up until that point, losing that first game the way we did, and then the seventh inning, two-run homer there to tie it, so that was a big hit and uplifting for us.”

Sadler’s error was Seattle’s second that allowed the Orioles to score, with the Orioles using a rally built around an error by second baseman Ty France to erase a four-run deficit in the third inning. The rally immediately followed a Seattle four-spot, with a single, double and walk against rookie right-hander Dean Kremer loading the bases for Kyle Seager, whose sacrifice fly to left accounted for the game’s first run. José Marmolejos then hit a three-run home run on a full-count cutter from Kremer.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis, who has struggled thus far in his first season with Baltimore, opened the bottom half with a single. After DJ Stewart reached on French’s error, Anthony Santander was hit by a pitch from Seattle left-hander Nick Margevicius to load the bases. Margevicius struck out Trey Mancini on three pitches, but Franco doubled into the left-field corner on the next pitch, clearing the bases and getting the Orioles within a run. Ryan Mountcastle tied the game with an opposite-field single to score Franco; all four runs in the frame were unearned.

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The Orioles (5-6) added two runs in the fourth to take the lead. Chance Sisco and Galvis, the bottom two hitters in the order, reached to begin the inning, then Cedric Mullins doubled Sisco home. Mullins has hit safely in 15 straight games dating to last season and is among league leaders in hits and doubles. Santander’s subsequent sacrifice fly doubled Baltimore’s lead.

“We’re just trying to get better,” Hyde said. “We had some guys off to some slow starts offensively. You see a lot of pressing going on with our hitters. Hopefully rallies like we had and wins like this can kind of relax some guys.”

Shot in the dark

Behind Kremer, left-hander Wade LeBlanc worked an inning before giving way to the right-hander Plutko, who had yet to give up a run through 6 ⅓ innings as an Oriole. He had extended that to 8 ⅓ innings when Hyde sent him back out for the seventh with the Orioles leading 6-4.

After a leadoff single, Hyde had closer César Valdez start warming up for the top of the order. But the Orioles’ lead didn’t last that long. Haggerty, Seattle’s No. 9 hitter, came to the plate with a .111 batting average and one career home run in 76 plate appearances, but he hammered Plutko’s 3-1 offering onto Eutaw Street.

Valdez entered the tie game, allowing a base hit before retiring the next three batters. Hyde said afterward he hoped to stay away from Valdez in case he was needed for multiple innings Wednesday.

“[Plutko] hasn’t given up a run for us, and with the doubleheader and some question marks tomorrow, I just decided, he was throwing the ball so well,” Hyde said. “I had Valdy for the top of the order. Last thing I was expecting was a two-run homer from the guy at the bottom of the order.”

Mixed results

With Kremer’s outing, every member of the Orioles rotation has made at least two starts, with Means’ work in Tuesday’s first game making him the exception with three. Means, buoyed by seven shutout innings on Opening Day, has the best numbers of any rotation members, while rookie left-hander and Ellicott City native Bruce Zimmermann’s two starts both reached the baseline for quality by featuring three earned runs allowed in six innings.

Veteran Matt Harvey’s line of six runs allowed in 9 ⅔ innings would appear better if not for a pair of runners he left for the Orioles bullpen in the team’s homer opener only to see them score. There’s no sugarcoating the first pair of outings from Jorge López and Kremer. They’ve combined to allow 18 earned runs in 14 innings, and Tuesday marked the first time the Orioles had won one of their starts.

Kremer said the key to getting his season on track will be improved usage of his curveball. For now, he’s appreciative of the Orioles’ lineup stepping up behind him.

“It’s unmatched knowing that the guys with the bats have your back all the time,” he said.

MARINERS@ORIOLES

Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.

TV: MASN

Radio: 105.7 FM

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