Joe Saunders would have preferred to stay with the Orioles. His family and friends from Northern Virginia could have seen him pitch regularly.
Despite recording the Orioles’ first postseason win in 15 years, the team didn’t show much interest in re-signing him. Instead of the three-year contract he wanted, Saunders settled for a one-year, $6.5 million deal with Seattle, and he signed just before spring training began.
Saunders pitched his eighth career complete game, allowing just a Matt Wieters’ two-run home run and four hits in Seattle’s 6-2 win on Monday night.
It was probably a wise move to sign with the Mariners because Saunders is now 8-0 with a 1.75 ERA at Safeco Field, where a record low crowd was on hand last night. He’s also 6-0 with a 4.22 ERA against the Orioles.
Should he stay with Seattle, Saunders has at most one more chance to pitch against the Orioles this year. The Mariners come to Baltimore in early August.
Zach Britton didn’t do much to impress the Orioles, allowing six runs in six innings and absorbing a ball inadvertently fired at him by home plate umpire Alan Porter. The umpire mistakenly thought Britton was calling for a new ball, and the left-hander took one square on his shoulder.
One of the reasons Saunders was acquired from Arizona late last August was because the Orioles felt their starting staff needed bolstering, and he was kept on the postseason roster while Britton wasn’t.
The game was played in a brisk 2 hours, 12 minutes, and Saunders walked just batter, Chris Davis. His walk is the only one drawn by the Orioles in the last two games.
Adam Jones was hitless. It was just the second game this season he’s failed to reach base. The very hot Nate McLouth sat out because Saunders is a left-hander.
The popular ex-Oriole Robert Andino, who’ll always be remembered for his game-winning hit to knock Boston out of the playoffs in 2011, drove in a run for Seattle with a fourth-inning single.