SEATTLE -- The sixth-inning trouble started for Zach Britton when he gave up a leadoff single, and things just kept getting worse.
It was so bad, even the home-plate umpire piled on.Britton was making his first start of the season Monday night for the Baltimore Orioles after being called up from Triple-A Norfolk, and he had a tough night in a 6-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners.Britton (0-1) gave up six runs -- three in the sixth -- on 10 hits. His night started when Michael Saunders hit Britton's second pitch into the right-center field seats for his first career leadoff home run in his first at-bat after being activated from the disabled list. It ended for Britton after the sixth inning and its strange sequence.After Justin Smoak singled to start the sixth, umpire Alan Porter made a hard throw to give Britton the new ball and it hit the left-hander on his throwing shoulder."The umpire smoked me. I had no idea. I was looking down at the ball, and all of a sudden another ball hit me. It didn't feel great," Britton said. "It kind of hit a nerve so it tingled a little bit, but it was fine after that."Britton was briefly shaken up, and when he returned to the mound it didn't get any better."It wasn't a great day," Britton said.Jason Bay followed with his third hit of the game and, after Robert Andino's sacrifice, Brendan Ryan hit an RBI single. It looked as if Britton might get out of the inning when Saunders hit a weak broken-bat grounder to second base, but the ball was too slow for the Orioles to turn the double play, and Kyle Seager followed with a two-run triple.Britton may not have been happy with the way his start turned out, but his manager was more gracious."He went through some periods where he was good. I don't think they really centered him up a lot other than the home run, but they had some good at bats off of him," Buck Showalter said. "I don't look at it as a doom and gloom, as that bad of a start. The problem was we didn't do anything off their starter."Baltimore briefly took a 2-1 lead when Matt Weiters hit a two-run homer, his fourth, in the fourth inning. But the Mariners quickly answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning Bay's RBI double and Andino's run-scoring single."The turn of the game was after we scored and went ahead," Britton said. "Being able to shut the door -- unfortunately I wasn't able to do that and the momentum got back in their dugout."Once the Mariners had the momentum, Joe Saunders (2-3) made sure they kept it. Weiters' homer marked the first earned runs Saunders allowed at Safeco Field this season in his third home start, but it was also the last hit Baltimore would get as Saunders went the distance for the first time since April 27, 2012.Saunders allowed four hits, walked one and struck out two while improving to 8-0 at the Mariners' longtime home."We knew what Joe was going to do," Weiters said. "Everybody sort of knows what Joe is going to do. That's why he is so good and why he has pitched for so long. He is able to make the ball move late and get ground balls and get weak contact."
Orioles RHP prospect Dylan Bundy, the fourth overall selection in the 2011 amateur draft, received a platelet rich plasma injection on Monday and will rest for six weeks. Bundy has what manager Buck Showalter termed a flexor mass, which caused pain in his forearm and elbow. "We're just going to take a conservative approach and get it resolved," Showalter said. "We look forward to him getting going in six weeks." ... Showalter said the Orioles may activate C Chris Snyder on Tuesday. Snyder was acquired in a trade from the Angels after backup C Taylor Teagarden was placed on the DL on Sunday. ... Seattle optioned OF Carlos Peguero to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for Michael Saunders.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 29: Nick Markakis #21 of the Baltimore Orioles backs away from a high and tight ball on the...