SEATTLE — Throwing strikes is not necessarily always a good thing, as the Seattle Mariners discovered Sunday.
Manny Machado lifted a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Mariners 3-2.
Yoervis Medina (4-2) was ahead in the count 0-2 to Machado and had at least a couple pitches to play with. Instead, Medina went right after him.
“He was challenging me. His best pitch is his fastball,” Machado said. “He started with a strike. Then he comes up and in. So I’m down 0-2 real quick. He tried to get me out with a fastball down and in, and I got it up and put it in play.”
Machado hit it well good enough that center fielder James Jones had to sprint to the warning track to bring it down. Adam Jones tagged at third and trotted home.
“It wasn’t a good pitch, it was a strike,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He was trying to get a groundout. He went at him with his best stuff. It just didn’t work.”
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino, who had hit a tying home run in the eighth, said he called for the fastball down and away.
“He has such a great sinker that I thought that would be a great spot to do that and try to get a double play there,” Zunino said. “It was a good pitch to go back to. He just left it over the plate a little bit.”
The Orioles took three of four in the series, twice winning in extra innings. Baltimore is 11-3 in extras this season, including six straight wins.
Manager Buck Showalter said Machado had a “stick-your-nose-over-the-plate-and-get-it-done” at-bat.
Jones opened the 10th with a double into the left-field corner, and Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis walked to load the bases.
After J.J. Hardy popped out, Machado came through.
Machado also singled and scored in the third inning and had an RBI single in the eighth.
T.J. McFarland (4-2) worked one inning for the victory. His effort came on a day when his grandmother died in Chicago. He plans to leave the team beginning Monday for at least three days to attend her funeral.
Zach Britton struck out the side in the 10th for his 20th save in 23 opportunities.
Dustin Ackley had three hits for the Mariners and is batting .375 in 21 games this month.
“They got runners on at the end and they were able to get the sac fly, which was huge,” Ackley said. “We just didn’t take advantage and they did.”
Mariners reliever Brandon Maurer had not allowed an earned run in 10 previous relief appearances, a span of 15 innings, before Baltimore took a 2-1 lead in the eighth.
The Orioles loaded the bases off Maurer with two outs, then Machado bounced a one-hopper to the left side. Shortstop Chris Taylor caught the ball but threw awkwardly and high to second baseman Robinson Cano, pulling him off the bag. It was ruled a hit and Jones scored.
“It was frustrating. I really thought I should have had that. It got away from me a little bit,” Taylor said. “I don’t think I rushed it, just made a bad throw. I don’t have any explanation for it. It just happened.”
Orioles reliever Darren O’Day, who had not allowed a run in his previous 14 appearances — a stretch of 15 1-3 innings — came on in the eighth to protect the lead.
Zunino connected with two outs for his 15th home run. The tying shot was the Mariners’ first home run in six games.
The Mariners got four hits in the second inning but managed just one run. Kyle Seager opened with a single off the wall, but was thrown out at second by right fielder Nick Markakis.
Corey Hart and Zunino singled and Taylor, called up Thursday for his first big league experience, got his first RBI with a double.