With Orioles’ Corbin Burnes on mound, times could remain tough for M’s

On the day Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman were named starters for the American League in the All-Star Game, Ryan O’Hearn showed the Orioles have more than a 1-2 punch.

O’Hearn, batting third behind the two All-Stars, went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBIs to lead the Orioles to a 4-1 victory against the host Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night in a matchup of division leaders.

The surging Orioles are scheduled to send ace Corbin Burnes to the mound for a Fourth of July matinee as they go for a three-game sweep of the slumping Mariners.

O’Hearn broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double in the third inning, extending his on-base streak to 15 games, and added a solo shot in the fifth as Baltimore won for the sixth time in its past seven games to extend its lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East to two games.

“He’s been doing this all year for us. Just hits after hits in big spots,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of O’Hearn. “I don’t know where we’d be without him. He’s been unbelievable for us.”

O’Hearn, who finished second to Houston’s Yordan Alvarez in the AL’s All-Star voting at designated hitter, is batting .294 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs.

Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer came off the injured list to pitch five scoreless innings of two-hit ball, and closer Craig Kimbrel retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his 438th career save, moving past Francisco Rodriguez and into sole possession of fourth place on MLB’s all-time list.

“Anytime you have the opportunity to be on this list and to surpass a guy that you got to spend time with and enjoyed their craft and what they did, it’s really cool,” Kimbrel said.

The Mariners have lost four games in a row, 10 of their past 13, and saw their once-10-game lead in the AL West dwindle to two over Houston.

Cal Raleigh’s solo homer in the sixth inning prevented Seattle from being shut out for a second straight night after a 2-0 loss in the series opener.

“Similar tune. Unfortunately, we struggled to get much traction offensively at all, and you can’t have perfect pitching,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Seattle figures to have a tough time against Burnes (9-3, 2.28 ERA), who has won six of his past seven decisions, starting with a 6-3 victory against the Mariners on May 19 in Baltimore. Burnes allowed one unearned run on six hits over six innings, with one walk and 11 strikeouts in that game. He’s 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in two career starts against the M’s.

Seattle plans to counter with fellow right-hander Bryce Miller (6-7, 3.88), who has lost two consecutive starts. Miller is 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA in three previous appearances against the Orioles, with the lone decision a 9-2 loss May 17 in Baltimore when he gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

–Field Level Media