Fantastic fifth for O's

Orioles 10 Mariners 5

They score eight runs in inning, Olson shines

August 02, 2008|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter

SEATTLE - The Orioles' best inning in more than two years started rather innocently, with Nick Markakis hitting a single to right field that just got past diving Seattle Mariners first baseman Miguel Cairo.

It ended seemingly an hour later when Mariners center fielder Jeremy Reed made a diving snag of Markakis' liner in left-center. In between, the Orioles scored eight runs, connected for nine hits and drew a walk, turning their series opener against the Mariners into a laugher.

Led by their eight-run fifth inning and a second consecutive strong start by rookie left-hander Garrett Olson, the Orioles trounced the Mariners, 10-5, before an announced 28,114 last night at Safeco Field.

The Orioles (52-56) improved to 7-1 against the Mariners this season and 3-1 overall on this road trip.

The eight-run fifth, in which every Orioles starter reached base, was the team's most productive inning since it scored nine times in the seventh against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on July 22, 2006.

The only negative from the inning was designated hitter Aubrey Huff hitting his head on the dugout. He was removed from the game an inning later with a bruise, though the injury isn't considered serious.

Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn struggled early.

The Orioles scored a run in the first inning as Nick Markakis' one-out double to right-center drove in Adam Jones from first. Jones had reached by dumping a single into right field.

Leading 1-0, the Orioles had a chance to expand on their lead in the second, loading the bases with two outs. Jay Payton got to second when Reed misplayed his line drive. Washburn then walked Juan Castro and Brian Roberts before retiring Jones on a flyout to shallow left.

Olson (8-5, 5.67), who went 8 1/3 innings, allowed a leadoff single to Ichiro Suzuki, the first batter he faced. However, he then retired nine straight Mariners before issuing a one-out walk to Willie Bloomquist.

By the end of the top of the fifth, Olson had plenty of breathing room.

Melvin Mora hit the Orioles' third consecutive two-out single off Washburn to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. Ramon Hernandez drove another run in with a double, and then Washburn walked Kevin Millar to load the bases. The left-hander was then pulled from the game in favor of Roy Corcoran.

Payton drove a pitch into right-center, the triple giving the Orioles a 6-0 lead. Castro made it 7-0 with a single. After Roberts doubled, Jones connected for a two-run single to extend the Orioles' lead to 9-0.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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