SEATTLE (AP) Chris Davis knows he doesn’t have a choice now.
After hitting a go-ahead single and his 30th homer of the season, the mustache the Baltimore slugger showed up with on Monday is sticking around.
“I didn’t want to completely shave and I was just looking for something to loosen everybody up and maybe get us going,” Davis said. “Looks like this is going to be around for a while.”
Davis’ RBI single and solo home run helped the Orioles pull within two games of the second wild-card spot in the American League after a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.
Adam Jones launched his 18th homer in the first inning off Seattle starter Vidal Nuno (0-1) and scored on Davis’ base hit in the fourth. Davis then hit a line drive out to center field off reliever Mayckol Guaipe in the sixth that landed in nearly the same spot as Jones’ shot.
Davis reached 30 homers for the third time in four years. He led the majors with 53 in 2013.
“I had to shorten up with two strikes my second at-bat and really try to see the ball and put a good swing on it, and I think that kind of played over into my third at-bat,” Davis said. “Whatever it was, I’ll take it.”
Wei-Yin Chen (6-6) won for the second time since July 1, pitching into the eighth inning as the Orioles inched closer to the Los Angeles Angels in the race for the second wild card.
Chen allowed only Franklin Gutierrez’s home run leading off the second inning that barely eluded the leap of Junior Lake in left field. It was Gutierrez’s fifth homer of the season, but all Seattle could do against Chen.
The lefty gave up just three hits. He struck out five and retired 13 of his final 14 batters.
Mark Trumbo walked on a 3-2 pitch with one out in the eighth, Chen’s last hitter. Kyle Seager, who doubled in the first inning, was the only batter other than Gutierrez to reach second base against Chen.
“He got stronger as the game went on, the late life was there and the depth on his breaking ball,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “When you give a good catcher those things to work with, it’s going to work.”
Seattle slugger Nelson Cruz extended his hitting streak to a career-high 20 games with an opposite-field single leading off the fourth. His streak of nine straight games with an extra-base hit came to an end.
“(Tonight) was one of the few games where they beat us,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We played an extremely good game. They played a good game and they beat us. Those games happen.”
Zach Britton got five outs for his 24th straight save, but it wasn’t simple. He gave up a two-out double to Gutierrez in the ninth and, after a wild pitch, Gutierrez scored when catcher Caleb Joseph missed Austin Jackson’s swinging third strike. Jackson was safe at first, but Britton rebounded and fanned Jesus Montero for the final out.
It was the fifth time this season Britton went more than one inning for a save.
Orioles: Right-handed reliever Chaz Roe was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder. Roe pitched Sunday but flew back to Baltimore to be examined by team physicians.
Mariners: Left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush threw a 40-pitch bullpen session as he continues to recover from a biceps strain. Baring a setback, Furbush should go out on a rehab assignment in the next few days.
Orioles: One-time Seattle prospect Chris Tillman (8-7) looks to win his seventh straight decision. Tillman last lost on May 31. Since then he is 6-0 with four no-decisions.
Mariners: Taijuan Walker (8-7) goes for his ninth win after Seattle’s bullpen failed to hold a 5-3 eighth-inning lead in his last start. McClendon said he’s starting to get worried about the number of innings Walker is projected to throw this season.