BALTIMORE (AP) - Seldom-used Henry Blanco hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning off Wei-Yin Chen, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Sunday behind left-hander Joe Saunders.
Batting ninth in the lineup, the 41-year-old Blanco sent an 0-2 pitch into the left-field seats to erase a 2-1 deficit. The backup catcher was playing in his 32nd game of the season, the 17th with Seattle after being signed as a free agent.
Blanco has played for 11 different teams during a career that began in 1997. This was his third homer of the season; the other two were grand slams, including a game winner in his Mariners debut against Oakland on June 15.
Saunders (10-10) worked out of trouble in almost every inning but improved to 7-0 lifetime against Baltimore after allowing two runs, eight hits and two walks in six innings.
Saunders, who played a key role for the Orioles late last season, has five consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins. In this one, he walked a tightrope through five innings and gave up a two-run drive to Danny Valencia in the sixth.
Baltimore went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight. The Orioles dropped two of three to the Mariners and went 4-5 on a homestand that began with three games apiece against Boston and Houston.
Yoervis Medina struck out four in two perfect innings and Danny Farquhar got three straight outs for his second save, both of which came within 24 hours of each other.
Chen (6-4) gave up three runs and five hits over seven innings in losing for the first time in seven starts since May 1.
Valencia was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game for his third stint with the Orioles this season. Starting at designated hitter, he homered after Steve Pearce drew a leadoff walk to put Baltimore up 2-1.
The lead didn't last. One inning later, following a walk to No. 8 hitter Brendan Ryan, Blanco pulled a pitch a few feet inside the foul pole.
Seattle and Baltimore combined for 14 home runs in the three games, none more important than Blanco's.
The Mariners used successive doubles by Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez to go up 1-0 in the second.
Baltimore got two hits in each of the first two innings but came up empty. The trend continued in the third, when a walk to Nick Markakis and a single by Manny Machado were followed by three straight fly balls.
The Seattle fourth was noteworthy in that Justin Smoak singled on a 16-pitch at-bat before an inning-ending groundout by Michael Saunders. The Orioles wasted a one-out double by Valencia in the bottom half.
Saunders retired Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy in the fifth with runners at first and second.
NOTES: Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says manager Eric Wedge, who had a mild stroke on July 22, won't rejoin the team this week. Zduriencik said Wedge is "doing well," but added, "This is a lifelong health issue for him. When he gets back here managing this club, we want him to be here. We don't want him to come in and be here for two or three days." Bench coach Robby Thompson has been running the club in Wedge's absence. ... Zduriencik also said RH reliever Stephen Pryor has been shut down for the year with an injured right triceps muscle. ... Baltimore recalled Valencia after optioning RHP Steve Johnson to Triple-A Norfolk late Saturday night. ... Orioles 2B Brian Roberts missed a third straight game while on paternity leave. He is expected to travel with the team Monday to San Diego for a two-game series that begins Tuesday night. ... The Mariners host Toronto on Monday night after going 2-4 on a six-game trip through Boston and Baltimore. ... Seattle won the season series 4-2.