- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 30, 2006

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles blew a four-run lead, lost four players to injuries and left 13 runners on base.

The Seattle Mariners, not surprisingly, had a much better day.

Ichiro Suzuki got two hits in a six-run sixth inning and Felix Hernandez earned his first win of the season yesterday, helping Seattle rally for an 8-6 victory over the Orioles.

Adrian Beltre and Carl Everett homered for the Mariners, and Yuniesky Betancourt came through with a go-ahead single in the sixth as Seattle bounced back from an early 4-0 deficit.

“We’ll take it,” manager Mike Hargrove said. “The guys have played hard all season long. Today we were able to carry it through.”

Seattle came through at the right times. The Mariners had 10 hits and went 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

The Orioles had 15 hits but went 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left the bases loaded twice, including in the ninth when they once had runners on second and third with one out.

“I think the key for us was the fourth inning when we had the bases loaded, nobody out, and we weren’t able to put that game away,” Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. “I sat there and said, ‘I hope that doesn’t come back and haunt us,’ but that ended up being the case.”

Eddie Guardado loaded the bases in the ninth before striking out Nick Markakis and retiring Raul Chavez on a grounder for his third save in five chances.

The Orioles finished the game with an unusual defensive alignment because of several injuries. They had Ramon Hernandez at first, Melvin Mora at second with Chris Gomez playing shortstop, and Jeff Conine at third base. Luis Terrero went to left field, and Chavez was catching as Perlozzo had to scramble to fill holes.

Only two Orioles starters remained in their original defensive positions.

Back spasms made Baltimore designated hitter Javy Lopez a late scratch, and a bruised right hand forced first baseman Kevin Millar out during the second inning.

Miguel Tejada kept his consecutive games streak alive at 943, but knee soreness forced him out in the sixth. He said he would likely be a designated hitter in today’s game. Also, second baseman Brian Roberts left in the seventh with a strained groin.

Perlozzo said the Orioles would make decisions about any roster moves this morning.

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