Seattle at Baltimore

Venue: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Superb pitching has pushed the Baltimore Orioles atop the AL East, and that trend may not change against the Seattle Mariners.

Miguel Gonzalez looks to continue his own strong stretch on the mound as he faces the sputtering Mariners again Saturday night.

Baltimore (61-47) has won eight of 11 thanks largely to a 1.87 ERA, a significant improvement from the team's 3.69 season mark.

That recent success includes a 1.57 ERA while taking four of five from Seattle (56-53), which is batting .211 and averaging 2.2 runs during a 3-7 stretch.

Wei-Yin Chen was the latest to shut down the Mariners in a 2-1 win in the opener of this three-game set Friday. He became the third straight Baltimore starter to last at least seven innings as the Orioles moved 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Toronto.

"If you get seven innings out of your starter, you're going to win your share of games," manager Buck Showalter said. "Shortens up a lot of things in the bullpen and really allows you to put people in situations that they prosper in."

Gonzalez (5-5, 3.77 ERA) has allowed no more than two runs in four straight starts and reached the eighth inning in three of them. He was 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA over his three prior outings after a stint on the disabled list due to a strained right oblique.

The right-hander allowed one run and scattered eight hits in six innings of a 3-2 win in 10 at Seattle on Sunday in his first career start against the Mariners.

"I felt like every inning, there (were) some runners on," Gonzalez told MLB's official website. "Just tried to minimize whenever I wasn't doing well and making pitches when I needed to."

Manny Machado went 3 for 4 on Friday and is batting .333 with five RBIs in his last five games. The third baseman is a career .333 hitter versus the Mariners, and he's 7 for 16 (.438) with two doubles and one homer in four home matchups.

Machado and the Orioles will get their first look at rookie James Paxton (2-0, 2.25), who returns from a left lat strain to make his first start for Seattle since a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on April 8.

"It's been a long road, but I'm just really excited to be back up here," Paxton said. "It's funny. I'm always nervous and excited before I pitch. That's just the way it is. And I love that feeling. I feel like being nervous makes me better, makes me focus more."

The left-hander allowed nine runs and three homers in 13 innings over four rehabilitation starts, but he's 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA in six starts over two seasons with Seattle.

Robinson Cano has hit .384 in his last 18 games after going 2 for 3 on Friday. He owns a .363 career average at Baltimore, but he's 2 for 21 versus Gonzalez.

Austin Jackson was 0 for 3 in his Mariners debut, a day after being acquired from Detroit in the David Price deal. Jackson is a career .156 hitter at Baltimore and is hitless in four games there this year.

Seattle is 5-37 when trailing after seven innings, second-worst among AL teams.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Probable Starters

J. Paxton
Seattle Last 3 Starts Baltimore
2-0 Wins-Losses 1-0
12.0 Innings Pitched 21.2
2.25 Earned Run Average 2.08
2 Walks 6
13 Strikeouts 11
0.67 WHIP 1.06

M. Gonzalez
Probable Pitchers
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Seattle3rd AL West8775.537115-5 W 4
Baltimore1st AL East9666.593-4-6 W 1

Related Video

December 19, 2014
Justin Upton traded to Padres (2:18)
December 17, 2014
Boomer & Carton: Chase Headley will start at 3B
December 11, 2014
Jim Rome: Dodgers' overhaul
December 10, 2014
John Smoltz on the Doug Gottlieb Show
(7:06) Shop

Mens Chicago Cubs Nike Royal Blue Classic Pullover Hoodie

MLB Cold Weather Gear
Get your favorite team
Shop Now

B. BeavanShoulder
W. BloomquistKnee
R. EliasElbow
H. IwakumaSide
C. DavisSuspension
M. MachadoKnee
J. SantanaShoulder
M. WietersElbow
Series Game Log
Apr 6TB 3:10 PM EDT  
Apr 7TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 8TB 7:10 PM EDT  
May 1BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
May 2BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
May 3BAL 1:35 PM EDT  
May 29BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
May 30BAL   
May 31BAL 1:35 PM EDT  
Jul 24TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Jul 25TB   
Jul 26TB 1:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 1BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 2BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 17TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 18TB   
Sep 19TB   
Sep 20TB 1:10 PM EDT