The Seattle Mariners are enjoying one of the best stretches of pitching in club history. Garrett Olson(notes) never came close to being a part of this type of success when he was with the Baltimore Orioles.
Olson looks to extend the Mariners’ pitching prowess and shut down his former teammates in the finale of a three-game series with the Orioles on Thursday night.
Seattle (29-30) had a 4.73 ERA last season in losing 101 games, but it’s down to 3.69 this year and recent success has certainly played a part. The Mariners evened this series with a 4-1 win on Wednesday night, giving up three runs or fewer in a franchise-record eighth straight game.
Seattle has a 1.63 ERA while giving up just two home runs in 72 innings during the run.
It will be up to a former Oriole to keep the Mariners’ momentum going, with Olson (0-1, 4.39 ERA) making his first appearance against his former team.
Olson was 10-13 with a 6.87 ERA in 33 starts with the Orioles from 2007-08, as Baltimore finished with a team ERA above 5.10 each year. Still, the right-hander has fond memories of his days with the Orioles and is eager to face them.
“Coming back to Camden Yards definitely brings back old feelings and memories,” Olson said. “It’s been great to see some old friends. I’m always gonna have good memories of this place and I am always going to look forward to coming back.”
Olson, who was traded to the Chicago Cubs before being dealt to Seattle in the offseason, has made three starts and six relief appearances with the Mariners. This will be his first start since May 31, against the Los Angeles Angels.
Baltimore (25-34) will counter with Koji Uehara(notes) (2-3, 4.09), who will start for the first time since being placed on the 15-day disabled list May 27 with a strained left hamstring. The same injury sidelined him in spring training, and it was a persistent problem for him while pitching in Japan.
“I think I’m looking forward to him being back out there,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
The 34-year-old rookie, who will be limited to 75 to 80 pitches, is 0-3 in his last seven starts despite posting a 3.32 ERA during that stretch.
Uehara was hurt in his last outing, against Washington on May 23, when he allowed three hits in three scoreless innings before leaving.
The second baseman had two homers among three hits Wednesday, and is batting .364 (16 for 44) over his last 11 games. Overall, though, he’s hitting just .245.
Baltimore, meanwhile, has scored three runs or fewer in nine of its last 10 contests.