BALTIMORE -- Down by four runs in the eighth inning, the Baltimore Orioles could hardly have imagined an afternoon featuring a celebration at the plate, a shaving cream pie to the face of newcomer Corey Patterson and the sounds of Jay-Z blaring in the clubhouse.
Luke Scott hit a grand slam to cap a five-run eighth against reliever Brandon League and the Orioles rallied to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-5 on Thursday."Moments like this, this is why we play the game," Scott said in the jubilant clubhouse.The victory wasn't assured until Patterson unleashed a throw from left field that nailed Josh Wilson at the plate for the final out. Wilson tried to score from second on Ichiro Suzuki's single.Patterson, who also homered, was in the midst of a postgame television interview when he received a shaving cream pie to the face from teammate Will Ohman. Summoned from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday, Patterson has already contributed to two victories."It's been a little bit whirlwind, but it's all worth it," he said. "I'm glad to come in and help these guys win some games."Held to five hits over seven innings by Seattle starter Felix Hernandez, the Orioles promptly broke loose against League (3-3).Patterson hit a leadoff homer to start the comeback from a 5-1 deficit. Adam Jones reached when League threw a wild pitch on strike three and Nick Markakis followed with a single. One out later, a walk loaded the bases for Scott, who drove League's first pitch into the front row of the left-field bleachers.Fans tussled for the ball above the outstretched glove of Michael Saunders. Scott briefly stopped between first and second base and then thrust his arm skyward and smiled broadly when he realized the opposite-field drive was being a ruled a home run. It was his second career slam and Baltimore's first this season."I knew I hit it well, but the thing about this park at this time of year is the weather," Scott said. "The cold, heavy air is going to knock down the ball a lot. That's what I was thinking. I was hoping it had enough."A despondent League accepted responsibility for the disheartening defeat."We have a nice lead and I give up a solo home run and a grand slam," he said. "I guess it can't get worse than that. It could, but it's pretty bad."Manager Don Wakamatsu said, "Obviously, that's a tough loss. We ended up having one bad inning that spoiled the day."Mark Hendrickson (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief for Baltimore starter Kevin Millwood, who remains winless after eight starts.Alfredo Simon worked the ninth to earn his fifth save, the second in two games. Patterson helped preserve it with his throw to catcher Matt Wieters, who tagged out Wilson.Simon was backing up the play and added his own out call as the Orioles streamed out of the dugout."I knew we were going to have a chance," Wieters said. "I knew it was going to have to be a good strong throw, and if the throw was accurate and strong we had a shot at it."Seattle lost for the 10th time in 12 games despite getting a fine outing from Hernandez and hitting a season-high three home runs. Ichiro and Mike Sweeney both homered for the first time this season, and Saunders hit No. 2.The Mariners came into the game with a major-league low 13 home runs, and only once before had they hit more than one in a game.After the Orioles went up 1-0 on a fourth-inning RBI single by Ty Wigginton, Seattle bounced back with a three-run fifth. Saunders, the No. 9 hitter, hit a two-out RBI single before Ichiro sent a 2-0 pitch over the right-field wall.Sweeney hit a solo shot in the sixth, and Saunders chased Millwood with a seventh-inning drive.But it wasn't enough."In the end, we went to a guy [League] who's been doing a lot for us," Wakamatsu said. "He left some pitches up in the zone and we got hurt."
Baltimore has six outfield assists this season, all of them on throws to the plate. ... Seattle outfielder Franklin Gutierrez sat out a second straight game Thursday with a sore upper-back muscle. ... Hernandez has not won since beating Baltimore on April 21.