BALTIMORE, MAY 31 -- On the last day of one of their greatest months ever, the Baltimore Orioles played a lifeless, careless game and were thumped by the Seattle Mariners again, this time, 8-5, before 31,909 at Memorial Stadium. In losing a third straight game to the pesky Mariners, the Orioles (26-23) made three errors, got another shaky performance from a rookie pitcher and were pretty much out of the game by the fourth inning.
They did get within 6-4 in the eighth inning, but Eddie Murray and Alan Wiggins made ninth-inning errors that let two insurance runs score. The Orioles, who had 11 hits, got only one homer -- Larry Sheets' 10th of the season -- to finish May with a record 58, and if they're worried about another 4-14 slump, they're not acting like it.
"We just happened to lose three games in a row," Orioles Manager Cal Ripken Sr. said. "That's going to happen sometime. You're not going to go through an entire season hitting three homers a game."
Wiggins, starting at second base for the first time since May 20, said, "You're not going to stay hot all the time. The goal is still to stay pretty consistent over the long haul."
The Orioles have been consistently poor at home, falling to 8-14. They are 18-9 on the road.
The Mariners (26-23) again slapped the ball around, getting 11 hits and three sacrifice flies, plus stealing three bases. Not coincidentally, they lead the American League in hitting, sacrifice flies and stolen bases.
Leadoff man John Moses was on base five straight times, getting four hits and scoring four runs. Phil Bradley had three RBI, and Jim Presley hit his third homer of the three-game series and 10th of the season.
The Mariners were all over rookie starter John Habyan (1-1) for five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He becomes the eighth Orioles starter in the last 11 games to fail to finish even six innings, and Ripken Sr. wasn't pleased with what he saw.
"He was very spotty," he said. "He's got to get his change-up over and mix his speeds. He had a pretty good slider, but he threw too many in the middle of the plate. You can't do that up here."
Habyan was the third of three rookie starters against the Mariners this week, and they finished with three losses and a 7.16 ERA.
Moses needed about five minutes to get Seattle a 1-0 lead, leading off the game with a triple to center and scoring on Bradley's sacrifice fly. Presley led off the second with a homer for a 2-0 lead, and the Mariners scored two runs in the third on back-to-back doubles by Moses and Bradley and a sacrifice fly by Ken Phelps.
The Orioles closed to 4-1 in the fourth on Lee Lacy's double, Cal Ripken Jr.'s flyout and Murray's RBI groundout.
But in the sixth, Phelps led off with a double, went to third on Davis' grounder and scored on Presley's sacrifice fly. When Kingery followed with a single, Habyan was gone.
Reliever Dave Schmidt gave up a run in the seventh when Moses beat out an infield single, stole second and scored on Scott Bradley's single.
Trailing by 6-1, the Orioles scored three times in the eighth. Rene Gonzales and Mike Young led off with singles and, after Wiggins flied out, Lacy doubled for a run. Ripken's grounder scored Young, and Murray scored Lacy with a single to center.
But with two outs in the ninth, Murray let Moses' grounder skip away from him, and the Mariners scored when Phil Bradley tripled. Bradley then scored when Wiggins bobbled Scott Bradley's grounder, and Sheets' homer off reliever Bill Wilkinson in the last of the inning barely mattered.
Rookie left-hander Lee Guetterman (2-0) went 7 1/3 innings for the victory. He never allowed more than one Oriole to reach base in an inning until the eighth.
"He did a helluva job," Seattle Manager Dick Williams said. "I wanted him to get me into the seventh, and he got me into the eighth. He changed speeds, made them hit it on the ground and pitched a gem."