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BAL@SEA: Noesi induces a key double play

SEATTLE -- A day after stumbling their way through six innings offensively, the Mariners again looked lost at the plate on Wednesday at Safeco Field, dropping the series finale to the Orioles, 4-2.

Seattle managed just three hits and a pair of walks in the final contest of a 10-game homestand, failing to advance a runner to second base until the ninth inning. The Mariners pushed across two runs in the ninth, but it was again a tale of too little, too late.

Now hitting just .194 at home, the Mariners' latest offensive troubles came a day after the Orioles took a perfect game against them into the seventh inning. This time, former Mariner Chris Tillman limited his old club to two hits in 8 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two.

"It's a game of adjustments, we've talked about it so many different times," manager Eric Wedge said. "We had a stretch there on the road where we were really doing what we want to do, what they need to do. But you got to work hard to hang on to it, and if you lose it for a couple days, you got to work hard to get back with it. Every position player out there has a job to do, and we're not getting it done right now. It's obvious."

"[Catcher Matt Wieters] got to the changeup a little bit later on in the game to give him a different wrinkle ... it's a good start," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We kind of got to the point where we needed a little fresh gunpowder, and Tilly provided it."

The lack of any production out of the Seattle lineup did nothing to help starter Hector Noesi (4-11), who has now gone five starts without receiving any run support while in the game. The right-hander didn't help himself out, though, turning in yet another mediocre performance.

Noesi becomes the first Major League pitcher to reach 11 losses this season, and is the first Mariner to lose that many games before the All-Star Game since Carlos Silva posted a 4-11 record prior to the break in 2008. He has lost eight straight decisions and is winless since May 6.

After a start in which a wild pitch aided the Orioles in scoring a run and a balk nearly did the same, Noesi's ERA climbed to 5.77 after he allowed four runs in five innings.

"They found some holes early, but he also made some mistakes," Wedge said. "They kept pushing a run across here, a run across there and we just felt like that was enough for him today. He has to be more aggressive, we just need him to take that next step to the point that we know what we're getting from him."

Following an outing in which he quickly unraveled to allow four home runs in a span of two innings, Noesi gave up another in the second, elevating a 2-0 pitch to Adam Jones to lead off the frame. Jones' shot was a no-doubter, clearing the facade in left field and landing in the upper deck.

Noesi's struggles continued in the third, as he allowed singles to Mark Reynolds and Robert Andino to begin the inning. Both would eventually score.

Andino's at-bat showcased Noesi's struggles this season, as the right-hander got ahead in the count 0-2, but kept the two-strike pitch over the plate, allowing Andino to hit it sharply into center field. Opponents entered Wednesday's contest hitting .308 with an 0-2 count against Noesi, according to STATS, Inc.

After another shaky outing by Noesi, Wedge was non-committal if the problems could be worked out by grinding on as a starter, or if a change was needed.

"We're in the process of evaluating everything, I'll tell you that much," Wedge said. "I've been very clear, I've been very patient, I think we've been patient as an organization, but there's a time and a place to make some changes. As we head into the break here we're going to evaluate where we are with everybody."

The loss dropped Seattle's record to 4-6 on the homestand. The Mariners are now just 16-25 at Safeco Field this season.

"I would rather stay here and grind through this and figure it out," Wedge said. "That's my attitude and that should be their attitude, too. You can't run away from it, you've got to look it right in the eye.

"This is where we play and it's a great place to play. These guys got to figure out how to be at their very best here. That's what we're going to keep pushing to them."

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