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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, July 26 (All times eastern)

Baltimore Orioles (57-45) at Seattle Mariners (53-50), 4:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Bud Norris (8-6, 3.78) Seattle - Chris Young (8-6, 3.22)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Mariners try to avoid their fifth straight loss on Saturday when they host the Baltimore Orioles in the third of a four- game series at Safeco Field.

For the third time in the eight games since the All-Star break, the Mariners were pushed into extra innings on Friday night and again found themselves on the losing end, this time in a 2-1 decision. Seattle, which is third in the American League West standings with a mark of 53-50, has lost five of the last six.

Charlie Furbush was charged with the loss for the home, team giving up a solo home run to Chris Davis, as he fell to 1-5 on the campaign. Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez left after seven innings and one run allowed, issuing five hits and 10 strikeouts along the way.

Hernandez tied Tom Seaver's major league mark and became just the second pitcher since 1900 to last at least seven innings and give up two or fewer runs in 13 consecutive starts.

"It doesn't matter, because we lost," Hernandez said of his accomplishment. "It's all about the team. It's about winning. "It means a lot for myself, but I don't care about myself. I just care about the team."

One of the latest additions to the Seattle roster, Kendrys Morales knocked in his team's lone run after Robinson Cano tripled to right to start off the bottom of the sixth. Cano, Endy Chavez and Kyle Seager each had three hits in the meeting.

Baltimore, which is three games up on the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East thanks to four wins in the last five decisions, registered a total of six hits. Like Davis, Nelson Cruz went deep for the visitors as well, with his blast coming into the second innings. Cruz is now second in the majors in home runs with 29, while his 75 RBI have him fourth in baseball.

Cruz, who appeared in just 109 games for the Texas Rangers last season due to a suspension for PEDs, now has six straight campaigns with at least 22 home runs and 75 RBI.

"That was a rocket," Hernandez said of Cruz's home run. "Unbelievable. I thought that ball was going to hit the wall. I didn't get angry. It was just a mistake. After that, I just tried to throw good pitches."

Kevin Gausman was the starting pitcher for the O's, but he didn't factor into the decision after giving up seven hits and a run, while walking three and striking out as many through 6 2/3 innings. Darren O`Day retired only two batters, yet that was good enough for his third win of 2014, with Zach Britton rounding up his 19th save.

The streaking Bud Norris is being called back to the mound by the Orioles this afternoon. The right-hander has won five of his last six decisions, including the most recent versus the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

Norris scattered eight hits, leading to just a single earned run, over 6 2/3 innings, while walking two and fanning eight in posting his eighth victory of the campaign and dropping his ERA to 3.78 in the process.

Having spent the first five years of his major league career with the Houston Astros, it should come as little surprise that this is just the fourth career outing for Norris versus the Mariners, against whom he has a record of 1-2.

Countering for the Mariners is Chris Young who, while he has an identical record to Norris at the moment, owns a much better ERA at 3.22. Young, a 10- year veteran who broke in with the Texas Rangers in 2004, has now gone more than three weeks since securing his last win.

Most recently he went up against the Los Angeles Angels last weekend and allowed 10 hits and three runs over six innings during a no-decision. The right-hander managed to strike out seven and didn't walk a batter, the first time in more than two months that he has not issued a base-on-balls.

For his career, Young has a record of just 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA in three previous appearances versus the Orioles.

07/26 10:20:47 ET

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