The Baltimore Orioles feasted on the Seattle Mariners in April while putting together their best month of the season. They hope more success against the team with the worst record in the AL can help them start August on an positive note.
The Orioles go for their seventh win in eight games against the Mariners this season as the last-place clubs open a three-game series Friday night at Safeco Field.
Baltimore (51-56) swept a four-game home series against Seattle from April 4-7 and took two of three at Safeco Field from April 22-24. Those results helped the Orioles go 15-11 in April for one of their two winning months this season— they were 15-12 in June.
More recently, the Orioles closed July by winning two of three games on the road against the New York Yankees. After combining for 20 runs and 29 hits in winning the first two contests, they were held to six hits in a 13-3 loss in Wednesday’s finale.
“If you win a series against the Yankees or a team the caliber of the Yankees, you’ve got to be happy about that,” manager Dave Trembley told the Orioles’ official Web site. “It’s just unfortunate this one got away.”
Trembley’s club ranks among the league leaders with a .286 batting average and 5.8 runs per game since the All-Star break. However, Baltimore has gone 6-8 in the second half because of its 6.07 ERA—second-worst in the AL.
“We’ve got to put it all together,” Trembley said. “The lineup has been pretty steady. We’re swinging the bats well. I think we’ve got the right mix going there, but we just need to pitch better and give ourselves a chance because we feel if we keep the game close we’ll score enough runs to win.”
The Mariners (41-67), meanwhile, delivered their sixth consecutive double-digit hit total with 11 in an 8-5 win over Texas on Thursday night. They also had eight walks, falling one shy of their season high.
“Eight walks were impressive,” manager Jim Riggleman told the Mariners’ official Web site. “But it’s too early to call it anything other than one night. We’d like to see it become a trend. You don’t want to lose aggressiveness, but (I’d) like for them to be able to tell a ball from a strike.”
That could come in handy against Baltimore starter Garrett Olson (7-5, 5.90 ERA), who held the Los Angeles Angels to two runs, seven hits and two walks in six innings of a 5-2 victory Sunday. The rookie left-hander had gone 0-2 with a 10.53 ERA while walking 13 in 19 2-3 innings spanning his previous four starts.
“I guess you could say I had a pretty bad streak there,” Olson said. “The biggest thing for me is to make my pitches. You can’t afford to miss your spots that often or you’ll get in trouble.”
Olson has never faced the Mariners, who’ll hand the ball to Jarrod Washburn (5-9, 4.50). The left-hander gave up one run and four hits in eight innings of a 5-1 win over Toronto on Sunday, and is 3-2 with a 2.44 ERA over his last nine starts.
Washburn is 6-4 with a 4.46 ERA in 14 career games against the Orioles.