Regardless of the result when the Orioles face the Mariners on Sunday in Seattle, Baltimore's 10-game road trip can already be considered a success. The O's are 5-4 on a stretch that has pitted them against the Athletics, Angels and Mariners -- a trio of potential playoff teams.
But a win against rookie starting pitcher Roenis Elias and Seattle would send the Orioles back to Baltimore with a flourish and without a losing streak.
"We don't look at it like, 'If we do this we're successful.' You come out here and try to win 10," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "We don't do math. We don't do percentages or anything. You post up and you play and try to win a nine-inning game. Every day is another opportunity."
Always looking for some sort of advantage on the mound, the Orioles didn't officially announce Miguel Gonzalez as Sunday's starter until after Saturday's 4-3 loss to Seattle. Gonzalez (5-5) has been excellent in July, pitching into the eighth inning during all three of his starts and allowing five earned runs in 23 2/3 frames.
Elias (8-8) struggled to begin the month -- he allowed 11 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings during his first two starts -- before delivering 5 1/3 one-run innings in an injury-shortened win against the Mets on Monday. Elias has a 4.41 ERA this season and is one of just four rookies with at least 100 strikeouts.
"My starter was pretty darn good," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said after Elias' last outing. "He just had a cramp and I didn't want to take a chance, but he was outstanding and that was really good to see."
Mariners: Seattle to extend Paxton in rehab start
Left-hander James Paxton's pitch count will increase to 75-80 pitches in his Sunday rehab start for Triple-A Tacoma before he rejoins the Mariners for an upcoming six-game road trip.
Paxton, who is on the 60-day disabled list with a strained left latissimus dorsi muscle, hasn't pitched in the Majors since April. The Mariners have just four starters on their 25-man roster.
Paxton went 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA before hitting the disabled list, and he has made a pair of rehab starts this season. McClendon won't officially make a decision about his injured lefty until after Paxton makes his start and throws his scheduled bullpen session on the road trip.
"We'll see how he feels after that," McClendon said.
Orioles: Machado goes hitless in return to lineup
Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado returned from a four-game absence due to back spasms on Saturday and went 0-for-4 in a 4-3 loss to Seattle.
"He could have played yesterday," Showalter said on Saturday. "I decided to give him one more day with the day game. He was close to going into that game last night."
Machado is batting .263 with 10 home runs and 23 RBI this season.
• Outfielder Endy Chavez was scratched from Seattle's starting lineup before Saturday's win due to a jammed left pinky finger.
• Gonzalez has never started against the Mariners, which is partly why the O's considered bumping him back to Tuesday against Los Angeles. Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA in four career starts against the Angels.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.