SEATTLE (AP) -Doug Fister had a lot going for him.
It was the first time he faced the Baltimore Orioles, they weren't hitting that well this season and - oh yeah - the Mariners' starter is 6-foot-8 with a repertoire of pitches that look hittable right up until the last instant.
No surprise, then, that Fister took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, befuddling the Orioles while Seattle romped to an 8-2 win Monday night.
``He looks like he's going to give you some hittable pitches and then they are not real good pitches,' Baltimore manager Dave Tremblay said. ``It looks like every at-bat you get one decent one but then he really locates and changes speeds.'
Ken Griffey, Jr. hit a two-run single in the Mariners' 7-run third inning and Casey Kotchman hit a two-run home run in the third and a RBI double in the seventh.
Jack Wilson had three hits, including a pair of doubles.
After a two-out walk in the first, Fister (2-1) retired the next 16 batters in a row before Nick Markakis opened the seventh with a clean single to center.
``Someone that tall who throws over the top, he gets some deception with his pitches,' Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. ``He also had some good movement.'
Fister finished with three hits and one run in his seven innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Ty Wiggington hit his fifth home run, a solo shot in the ninth, for the Orioles, hitting .229 as a team after tying a season low with five hits.
``He throws a lot of strikes and he keeps the ball down,' Mariners second baseman Chone Figgins said. ``I guess that's why they always try to draft tall pitchers because when you're tall they can give you so many different angles of deception. Deception is the key to pitching. When you have a down angle, you don't know if he's going to cut one or sink one or give you a slider.
``It's good being tall.'
Fister, in just his 13th big-league appearance, was coming off one of his best outings, a three-hit, eight-inning effort Tuesday, a 3-0 victory over Oakland.
``I felt like my last start was huge, getting some success and keeping the ball down in the zone,' Fister said. ``I kind of took that into today.'
Solid defense, including a nifty cover play at first by Fister in the sixth, kept his no-hit bid going.
Cesar Izturis bounced a grounder into the right-side hole to open the sixth. Figgins managed to snag it, spun completely around and threw an accurate one-hopper to Fister covering first. With a long first baseman-like stretch, Fister hung onto it.
One inning later, Markakis spoiled it.
``Actually, I had no idea,' Figgins said. ``I heard the crowd give a big cheer and I thought, 'something happened on the scoreboard? A no-hitter or something?' I looked around and they're still cheering. I looked at the scoreboard again and saw, oh, he's got a no-hitter going.'
Orioles starter Brad Bergesen (0-2) lasted only 2 2-3 innings. He was charged with six hits, seven runs, though only four were earned, and walked three without a strikeout.
``It's tough for everyone. It's extremely tough for me,' Bergesen said. ``I care so much about this team. To not chew up innings and to put that workload on the bullpen just absolutely kills me right now.'
Wilson's one-out double began a string of eight straight batters reaching base in the Mariners' third. Ichiro Suzuki and Figgins walked followed by Franklin Gutierrez's RBI single to left, scoring Wilson. Jose Lopez reached on third baseman Wiggington's error, allowing Suzuki to score.
Griffey followed with his two-run single through the right side, scoring Figgins and Gutierrez. Milton Bradley launched a RBI double into the left-center gap, but Griffey was thrown out on the relay home. Kotchman finished the rally with a homer into the right-field seats.
It was the most prolific inning for the Mariners since a 7-run seventh on April 15 last season against the Los Angeles Angels.
Baltimore has the worst record in the majors at 2-12 and it was the seventh time in 14 games that the Birds have scored two runs or fewer.
Markakis has reached base safely in all 14 games this season.
Gutierrez was removed as a precaution in the eighth inning with tightness in his groin. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
Notes: The crowd of 14,528 was the smallest in Safeco Field's history. The previous smallest was 15,818 on May 6, 2008. ... Mariners LHP Cliff Lee, on the DL with a strained abdominal muscle, is waiting for the league response to appeal of a five-game suspension. ``If everything goes well with that,' Wakamatsu said, ``we're looking at a rehab assignment (April 25). ``If everything goes well with that, we're looking at a start (May 2).' ... Orioles OF Felix Pie will miss three months after doctors determined he has a torn left latissimus dorsi muscle. No surgery is required, just rest and rehab. Pie tore the muscle on opening day. ``That tells you something about Pie's pain tolerance,' Trembley said. ``He has been dealing with it since.' ... Baltimore 3B Miguel Tejada said his strained groin is ``feeling almost normal' and hopes to return to the lineup Tuesday. ... The Mariners signed INF Ramon Vazquez to a minor league contract. Vazquez, 33, spent spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates, was designated for assignment and became a free agent on April 12.
The Associated Press News Service
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